Port Phillip Community Group began as the St Kilda Community Group in the early 1970 with the aim to ‘improve communication between, and co-ordination of, existing welfare services, conducting research and service planning and establishing a multi-service community centre where residents could go for assistance’.
While services and programs have developed and changed through community need and funding there have been two significant constants – a commitment to social justice for the local community and its location. For over 40 years PPCG has been based at premises provided by the St Kilda Uniting Church at the corner of Chapel and Carlisle Streets, known as St Kilda Community Centre.
PPCG’s innovative and responsive nature seeded many now flourishing organisations in the City of Port Phillip. St Kilda Legal Service (co-located at StKCC), Inner South Community Health and St Kilda Community Housing all have links to early programs of the community group.
As a local place-based organisation, PPCG has always been strongly supported by the City of Port Phillip. Currently programs receive funding from the three levels of government, grants and donations.
The organisation now operates from four sites across the City of Port Phillip, including management of the Alma Road Community House.
In 2013 the St Kilda Community Centre office underwent an award-winning upgrade and renovation creating a light-filled, calming environment for staff and client. In 2015 Jeff Lyons retired as Chair after 28 years in the position.
PPCG began in the 1970’s) using a community development approach to build, strengthen and support an inclusive local community.
PPCG’s main office at the corner of Chapel and Carlisle Streets is provided by the St Kilda Uniting Church and is co-located with the St Kilda Legal Service and Prahran Mission Neighbourhood Hub and auspices numerous other projects throughout the area.
PPCG, in partnership with City of Port Phillip, delivers services from St Kilda, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne and St Kilda East, Monday to Friday 50 weeks a year.
In 2014 the 20 staff and 50 volunteers provided over 3,300 food vouchers, 1,330 meals, 2,332 fresh food parcels, 450 travel passes, 40 rent assistances, 2,793 free telephone calls and telephone cards, 150 pharmacy vouchers, 165 emergency cash , 21 No Interest Loans, 25 Back to School funding supports, over 5,000 referrals and 64 tax help sessions. Financial Counselling provided 193 face to face sessions, 172 inquiries and supported a further 1336 client.
PPCG and CoPP’s combined Vulnerable Group program supported 72 homeless clients and assisted 13 clients into housing. The Recreation and Access (RAG) program provided services to over 250 clients with more than 2,264 hours of service. Five Minutes of Fame provided services to over 200 people. Our Voices had 20 graduates and has created approximately 500 hours of paid casual work for participants on a regular basis. In addition to these hours, participants have had approximately 3,000 hours paid employment from other sources. Thirty-four street parties were held. The Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) program provided over 10,000 learner hours in computers, Internet, social media, English as a second language, art and sewing.
PPCG had over 25,000 client contacts with over 15,000 face to face service incidents with 25% of these clients from CALD backgrounds; predominately Russian, Somalian, Vietnamese and Chinese.
PPCG’s services contribute to improved outcomes for vulnerable people, children, families, residents and communities by helping people address their immediate and long term needs in times of crisis. PPCG assists people and communities to transform and enhances wellbeing. PPCG strives to improve community resilience and social justice.