Wayss says goodbye to Berwick office

Wayss chief executive Wayne Merritt. Photo: supplied.

By Eleanor Wilson

Emergency relief service provider Wayss will shut the doors to its Berwick office later this month, but the organisation says the closure won’t impact its service capabilities.

After five years at the Langmore Lane location, Wayss chief executive officer Wayne Merritt said a change in operational needs led the support service to decide not to renew its lease at the end of the month.

“As with all organisations across Victoria, the landscape has changed with hybrid models of work and a number of services being conducted virtually, meaning multiple back-of-house offices are not required,” Mr Merritt said.

He said the Berwick office had been used solely for back-of-house office functions and client phone support.

“For those clients who require face-to-face service, Wayss still has various office sites across the three LGAs of Greater Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia where we are focusing our attention on larger hub models of care which better support the community and our workforce,” he said.

Wayss also operates out of its head office in Dandenong and has offices in Cranbourne and Pakenham, providing homelessness and domestic violence support services for those in need.

Mr Merritt said there would be no loss of staff or services as a result of the closure and Wayss employees would be redeployed to work from other offices in the area.

“Wayss continues to have a really clear focus on working in the three LGAs of Greater Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia to support people needing support in relation to homelessness and family violence,” Mr Merritt said.

“Wayss remains 100 per cent committed to providing critical and much-needed services for those impacted by homelessness and family violence in these communities.”

He said the organisation was looking to expand its service offerings throughout Casey and Cardinia.

“We are actually looking to expand our service offerings in the Pakenham region given current and future growth in the area,” he said.

“We are actively looking for properties within the Pakenham area to house Wayss and other specialist services.”

It comes amid a housing and cost-of-living crisis across the nation, with Melbourne’s South East identified as an area feeling the pinch of affordability.

A financial stress map developed by social welfare campaign organisation, Everybody’s Home, found 64 per cent of renters were in stress in the Bruce electorate, the highest percentage among Victorian LGAs.

Mortgage stress in the area is also high according to the study, with 57.1 per cent of mortgagees in stress.

If you are in need of emergency support, you can contact Wayss on (03) 9791 6111, or visit wayss.org.au