Emergency Relief

Who may be able to access the service?

The ASRC knows that many people seeking asylum are in crisis because they do not have work rights or access to mainstream social services in Australia. While we aim to support as many people as possible, the level of need we see always exceeds the resources we have available as a community organisation.

We therefore prioritise those who face the biggest barriers to accessing their right to basic needs, and provide equitable access to as many people as we can.

We continue to advocate for a broader safety net for people seeking asylum. Our emergency relief response is intended only to stabilise people in the absence of this safety net.

Who MAY be able to access this service

Who will NOT be able to access this service*

A person seeking asylumA person not seeking asylum
No or very low personal household incomePersonal or household income above a threshold
18 years or olderLess than 18 years old
Residing in VictoriaNot residing in Victoria
No accecss to SRSS supportApplicant or immediate family member in your household is accessing SRSS support
Able to participate in goal setting plan in collaboration with the ASRCUnable or unwilling to participate in goal setting plan in collaboration with the ASRC
Never accessed ASRC servicesConditions exist around repeated access
Actively accessing other servicesNot actively accessing other services

* If this is you, you may be able to access other services listed here


What does this service offer?

This service provides direct financial support via vouchers or an emergency relief payment (paid directly into the client’s bank account).

Costs that may be covered by this service by direct payments are:

  • Vouchers for immediate needs in an emergency – e.g. when escaping family violence
  • Utilities
  • Internet/phone costs
  • Essential furniture (if no other agency can help)
  • Wi-Fi installation costs
  • Essential expenses for children (e.g. school related costs that cannot be waived or covered externally)
  • Administration costs (if essential – e.g. Immicards or certificates/checks)
  • BUPA Visa Health checks
    Specific unexpected expenses (evidence must be provided)

Costs that will NOT be covered by direct payments issued by this service:

  • Ongoing petrol costs or travel costs
  • Groceries
  • Car maintenance or home maintenance costs
  • Non-essential furniture or non-essential household items
  • New clothes (these can be sourced through referrals)
  • Fines
  • Medical bills (refer to the ASRC health program)
  • Prescriptions from GPs for medications (refer to the ASRC health program)
  • Recreational activities including holidays
  • Toys or stationery
  • Myki
  • School support/School costs
  • Vet bills
  • Private legal costs
  • Mortgage or loan payments
  • Rent payments

Services that we can assist with accessing through external sources or referrals:

  • Referrals to external agencies for food and petrol vouchers
  • Toys and stationery and (second hand and new) clothes through Material
  • Aid events or referrals
  • Referrals for second hand furniture/clothing
  • Referrals to legal centres or WDPS for fines
  • Waiving of medical bills and advocacy (in conjunction with ASRC Health)
  • Referrals for school support (CSEF, SSR, Smith Family and others)
  • Referrals for recreational activities and advocacy (in conjunction with other ASRC programs)
  • Referrals for pet care
  • General advocacy (through external agencies – e.g WestJustice)
  • Financial counselling,
  • Budgeting and other financial capability tasks or activities
  • Utilities advocacy (Payment plans, etc)
  • Utility Relief Grant Scheme (URGS)
  • Debt waiving or related referrals
  • Access to external funds (e.g. Queen’s Fund, Red Cross etc)

How to access the service?

Please call 03 9326 6066 or come to our centre and our workers can discuss your circumstances and the choices available to you.

Opening hours
Service hours may vary depending on staff capacity but these are the days and times we are open (excluding public holidays).
Please note, the service is paused during lunch times on the open days

ASRC Footscray
Level 2, 214-218 Nicholson St. Footscray

Monday: 10.00am to 3.30pm
Tuesday: 10.00am to 3.30pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 10.00am to 3.30pm
Friday: 10.00am to 3.30pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

What you need to provide:

  • Signed consent form including agreeing to ASRC’s Rights and Responsibilities agreement
  • Completed application form (completed alongside ASRC staff member/volunteer)
  • Bank statement for the last three months and other supporting documents, such as:
    • Utility Bills 
    • Medical Examination (BUPA) cost
    • Medical documents (if not able to work due to health challenges)
  • Visa document and, where needed consent to access your visa status 
  • Proof or verbal confirmation (from the organisation) that you are actively accessing other services outside the ASRC and actively engaged with internal services. (Example: If there is a Red Cross payment shown on a recent bank statement. This is proof of accessing other agencies)

What we use it for:

  • Consent to access services in line with ASRC relevant policies and procedures 
  • Basic Needs application form
  • Financial assessment
  • Legal status
  • Evidence for accessing service supports

What other services could I try?

Services: Provides information about where you can find your local services

Web: askizzy.org.au


  • Emergency Relief
  • Family and Domestic Violence support
  • Employment PathwayProgram
  • Food Pantry

Email: vicer@redcross.org.au

Services: Providing food and some furniture/household items

Ph: 1800 305 330  |
Monday to Friday, 10:00am – 3:00pm

Services: Providing food parcels and vouchers, toiletries, clothing and some furniture items for families and individuals seeking asylum.

Ph: 03 9384 8333 |  12 Tinning St, Brunswick

Services: Providing food parcels, toiletries, clothing and some furniture items for families and individuals seeking asylum.

Email: referrals@westwelcomewagon.org.au