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Connect News October 2021

October 2021


We understand times have been tough for many Victorians, so in this edition we have included information about the services available if you are experiencing hardship or struggling with your wellbeing.

Also in this edition, learn about:
• How we are improving diversity and inclusion in our workplace;
• How we are responding to the big boom in community housing;
• Our new address in Geelong; and
• Victoria in Bloom Garden Awards.

Please continue to stay safe, informed and prioritise self care.


Anxious man on phone
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
If you are struggling financially, the Victorian Government has help and payments available for people who have been affected by the pandemic. For more information, visit:

We are also here to support you. If your income has changed, you may be eligible for a rent review or rebate because of hardship. Contact your Tenancy and Property Manager to discuss your options.
Staying connected
We all know the toll that lockdowns have had on many families and individuals in Victoria. It is vital to stay connected by making regular phone or video calls with family and friends. If you, or a loved one, is finding it difficult to cope, make sure you seek professional help.

Speak to your doctor about getting a mental health plan and be sure to access one of the following mental health services, if you need immediate assistance:

Lifeline Australia
A 24-hour crisis support service. Phone 13 11 14 or visit

Beyond Blue
A pandemic support service for those feeling stressed or depressed. Phone 1800 512 348 or visit

A free service available to anyone looking to reconnect or have a chat. Phone 1800 4 CHATS (1800 424 287) or visit

Partners in wellbeing
Services available if you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Phone 1300 375 330 or visit
Group of people on video call
Young man and an old man in a wheelchair having fun
Older people connect!
As you get older, regular social connections become a vital part of your wellbeing. Thankfully, there are many ways in which to keep connected. Below are just a few of the services available to help older people stay connected, learn new skills and get advice:

U3A (Universities of the Third Age)
Courses for retired and semi-retired people.
Phone 9670 3659 or visit

Council on the Ageing
Free and friendly information services for older people aged 50+. You can get information about pensions, utilities, public transport, bills or anything else.
Phone 1300 13 50 90 or email

Run by the Red Cross. The service provides daily calls to people living alone and at risk of an accident going unnoticed. Phone 1300 885 698 or visit
We have a new office in Geelong

Our staff in Geelong have moved into a bigger office right in the heart of Geelong CBD.

The new address is 15 Yarra Street, Geelong. Our phone number remains the same. The new office will accommodate our growing team as we provide more homes and services in the region.

Map of Geeling
Construction worker
Building more homes
The State Governments’ Big Housing Build will create thousands of new homes for people in need and tens of thousands of jobs to support Victoria’s recovery. In the first round of funding, Haven has received support to build 150+ new homes. Two-thirds of these will be built in regional Victoria.
Creating a long term vision for our future
The pandemic has created new funding opportunities for community housing, but it has also created pressures for community services to deliver more.

As a result, we have a new Transformation Team at Haven, which will work over the coming years, to make sure we are in a position to meet demand, while still providing a quality and personalised service.

Angela Boyd – Transformation Lead
Eliza Hughes – Executive Officer
Bernie Moss – People and Culture Lead
Rob Murphy – Change Lead
Transformation Team headshots
Hello welcome mat
Everyone is welcome at Haven
We believe that everyone should feel welcome at Haven. We are on a journey to become truly inclusive, and while we have made some progress, our journey does not stop. We have started this journey by reviewing our services against Aboriginal cultural safety standards and the Rainbow Tick LGBTQI+ inclusion standards.

Our staff have created a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to ensure that we continue to improve. We welcome your feedback on the inclusiveness of our services and encourage you to share your experiences with us.
Becoming homeless was part of Eric's* journey to freedom
The Homelessness to a Home (H2H) Program provided a pathway for people in emergency accommodation during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, to move into housing. Please note, all allocations for this program have now been filled.

This is Eric’s* story of strength and determination.
(* Not real name.)

“I grew up in a strict regional community, it was my prison for most of my childhood. I felt trapped and controlled. By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I knew that I had to get away and cut off all contact, so I summoned all my strength and left for good.

I had a friend in Geelong who was happy to let me stay for a while. But I couldn’t stay forever and ended up homeless. It was tough having to access homelessness services, but when I went to one of the community centres in Geelong, they were very helpful. They told me about Haven’s Homeless to Home Program and referred me to go on the list to find long-term accommodation.
Man at sunset looking at ocean
In the meantime, I had applied to study and was accepted into student accommodation, which I couldn’t afford on my own. Even though student accommodation didn’t really fit the funding guidelines, Haven sought, and got approval, to allow me to move into the accommodation.

My journey to this point has been painful and difficult, but I am here now, and it is a huge relief.”
Garden boots with flowers
Victoria in Bloom Garden Awards
These awards recognises the wonderful work of gardening enthusiasts who live in community housing. There are categories for all types of gardeners. Entries close Friday 26 November 2021, so don’t miss this opportunity to nominate your neighbour with green fingers.

Phone 8633 4357 or visit for more information.
Have you been vaccinated?
COVID-19 vaccines are safe, voluntary, and free for everyone aged 12 years and over.

You can book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a vaccination centre by using the online booking system: or by calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398. For an interpreter, press 0.
Woman holding a love heart with Vaccine written on it
Client feedback workshops provide valuable suggestions

We recently held a workshop with residents from across the state to discuss the survey results from earlier this year. People joined us online to share their experiences and ideas concerning maintenance requests, communications, and complaints management. 

As a result of the survey and workshop we are now reviewing and streamlining our internal maintenance processes.

AHA and Active tenants can make maintenance requests can be made by calling: 1300 100 242 or emailing

We are creating more awareness about our complaints and feedback processes. We understand no one likes to make complaints, but we appreciate all feedback both positive and negative. After we have resolved your complaint, we are also now sending a brief survey, so you can tell us how we went.

Reminder: Providing feedback or making a complaint

1. If you have an issue, first raise it with your Tenancy and Property Manager.

2. If step 1 doesn’t work for you, submit your complaint in the following ways:

Call us on:
1300 428 364

Send us a message using
our online form:

Write to us at:
Haven; Home, Safe
Feedback and Complaints
PO Box 212,
Bendigo, VIC 3552