Dandenong Ranges Emergency Relief Service (DRERS) is a non-profit organisation connecting community and supporting people experiencing financial stress, crisis and hardship in the Dandenong Ranges on the outskirts of Melbourne.
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We are a non-profit volunteer organisation providing emergency relief. We assist people facing crisis, for reasons such as illness, unemployment, domestic violence, homelessness, and other hardship. Since 1998, we have been offering aid that includes food, clothing and financial assistance. We also have a drop-in centre located in the same building for people looking for social interaction, lunch or a cup of tea & coffee. We have public showers available for people with no access to one. We also have our OP Shop located just a few minutes walk from our main building.
We are located: Lower level of the Belgrave Community Hub, 1616 - 1624 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave 3160
03 9754 7777 Mob: 0468 468430
Areas we cover
Narre Warren East*
Upper Ferntree Gully*
* full service for Yarra Ranges residents only
PROGRAMS WE OFFER
Our Emergency Relief department is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 12:30pm. We are located at the Belgrave Community Hub, 1616-1624 Burwood Highway, Belgrave.
We provide emergency relief and so much more. Please bring I.D. such as a valid Health Care card that shows your current address. Depending on your location, situation and our available funds, we may be able to provide the following:
*payment of prescription medicine/medical bills
*essential travel assistance
* advocacy & information
*payment of essential bills (or contribute to larger bills)
MI PLACE DROP IN CENTRE
Our drop-in centre is called Mi Place, and it is located in the Belgrave Community Hub. We provide free support and friendship to individuals and families in the hills and beyond. Feel free to drop in and connect up with others - or sit by yourself if you are not feeling up to a conversation with others - have a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate, or join us for puzzles and games. There is also a hot shower available (towels can be provided). Mi Place offers:
- coffee and tea
- light lunch
- crafts, cards & board games
- quiet area
- friendly staff to talk to
- group support
- community resource contacts
PETS ARE FAMILY TOO
We find people going through a crisis really need their pets more than ever. If someone is offered crisis accommodation, but they have to choose between going into a shelter and giving up their pet, they’ll choose to stay on the street because at least they have their dog.
Monetary donations are also welcome as our not-for-profit organisation also helps pay vet bills, so that people who are homeless and disadvantaged can keep their beloved four-legged companions healthy.
It really makes a difference to someone if we can provide the family with pet food, as it’s such a load off their mind knowing that their pet won’t go hungry or get sick.
CHRISTMAS IN THE HILLS
Christmas time can be a very challenging time for many people in the community. Each year we run a Christmas Appeal to help provide presents and food for our clients. Clients with children are given the chance to choose from a selection of gifts that thegeneral public have kindly donated. For clients with no children, we provide a Christmas food hamper.
"I came to find assistance with food. I'm a Mum of three and under financial stress. If it wasn't for Dandenong Ranges Relief Centre I don't know what I would've done. Every little bit of support & guidance has been amazing. We are very lucky to have something like this in our community."
"DRERS, they are amazing, all the volunteers make you feel welcome and normal rather than belittled and embarrassed. The help, all round they provide is essential for when times get tough, and families or singles need help. Thank you so very much."
"As a former homeless person, I appreciate the support Mi Place offers. The social interaction opportunities are great. I also appreciate the fact they cook fresh meals. It is a great thing."
VISIT OUR OP SHOP
Looking for a bargain? Come and check out our op shop. Situated on the main street of Belgrave at 1672 Burwood Highway Belgrave, we have all kinds of goodies to choose from. Our friendly staff will help you find what you need, or you might just come across an unexpected treasure. To contact the op shop phone 0491 646 069.
Our charity was founded in 1998 by Frank Watson OAM & Meryl Watson OAM who recognised that some people in our local community needed help. Frank & Meryl used their own car to pick up food and donations. As the years went on, the charity grew and now we have more volunteers and thankfully a Toyota ute to pick up food. In 2018, we moved from our old premises on the main street to the modern Belgrave Community Hub building which we share with other organisations.
DRERS is grateful to have Philip Wollen OAM as our Patron. Philip is an Australian philanthropist, animal rights activist and humanitarian. We are fortunate to have the support of Philip and his wife Trix. Find out more about Philip on his Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Wollen
Philip and Trix donating their car for us to use for our services
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
We aim to provide without judgement, bias or discrimination, the necessities of life in the time of crisis. We endeavour to assist people who are disadvantaged due to illness, disability and poverty thereby creating a stronger, healthier and more caring community.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.