The Eurobodalla Shire Council's new case management service offering support to those significantly impacted by the bushfires opened on Monday, August 3.
The Eurobodalla Bushfire Recovery Support Service will assign bushfire-affected residents a single case manager, who can cut through the information overload and find the right assistance throughout recovery.
Callers to the council's bushfire recovery helpdesk have indicated that while there is a lot of help available, it is often a complicated and frustrating process - tackling many issues while trying to cope emotionally.
Recovery service coordinator Jane Moxon said the new service would help residents find and access the right support.
"We're really providing a one-stop shop for people for whatever they need in their recovery," she said.
"Instead of each household trying to work out what help is out there through charities, government agencies and other organisations, a case manager will be able to sit with them, work through it all and provide ongoing support for as long they need.
"It might be as simple as needing help with filling out forms, to working with council on the rebuilding process, finding appropriate housing, approaching other agencies for help, or perhaps referral to expert mental health and counselling services."
Seven months on from the fires, Ms Moxon said many people were feeling exhausted and emotionally drained - a situation made worse with COVID thrown into the mix.
"Some people are frustrated that perhaps their situation hasn't changed as they had expected it to, or they've come across barriers to moving on," she said.
"We're really pleased to offer this service - we understand that for some people it's been a long time coming, but we look forward to getting out there and providing that much-needed comprehensive support."
The service will operate from a shopfront in Moruya's Vulcan Street (next to Moruya Pharmacy), 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. The council's bushfire recovery helpdesk contacts remain the same - 4474 7434 and firstname.lastname@example.org
"People can still phone, but if they are in the area and they do want to have face-to-face contact our doors will be open, following COVID requirements of course," Ms Moxon said.
"Once all our case managers are on board later in August they will be getting out and about, meeting people in their communities."
The Eurobodalla Bushfire Recovery Support Service is funded by the NSW and Australian Government's bushfire recovery funding.
Bushfire-impacted residents who would like support can contact the service on 4474 7434 or email@example.com