Good News from St Mary's House of Welcome

June 18, 2020 Eve Heidemann

Welcome Relief 

'Welcome Relief' is St Mary’s House of Welcome’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. We started this initiative to ensure people experiencing chronic homelessness are provided with food during these challenging times. Each week, we are delivering over 4.000 'Welcome Relief' meal packs to people experiencing homelessness, people in crisis accommodation, and to small, community grass-roots organisations across Melbourne.
  

Challenges

We had to suspend our social programs, organised activities and outings. We also had to ask our amazing team of volunteers to take a well-earned break. This meant we had to change the entire way we operate. Our team needed to adapt fast, be resilient and figure out a new way of working. Our incredible, dedicated staff has worked hard to ensure we can continue to provide emergency food packs, relief hampers, toiletries, clean underwear and showers to the men and women living on the streets who rely on us for help. We are providing outreach supports to people via telephone and email when possible. As always, the health and welfare of everyone in our community is our very highest priority.
 

Impact

We see the impact every day on the faces of the people that come through our doors, and the people we deliver ‘Welcome Relief’ meal packs to. But it is not just the meals, it is the personal contact, a chat and some comfort that means the world. We have been able to distribute more meals every week and help support more people experiencing chronic homelessness. Not only is this initiative supporting those most vulnerable, our partnership with the participating hospitality businesses is ensuring their staff can continue to work during these challenging times.
 
We have looked for opportunities rather than seeing obstacles. We didn’t stay stuck in the way we normally operate but immediately tried to think in solutions while adapting to the new situation. Together we stand stronger, and for us this meant collaborating with other organisations and businesses to achieve our goals and being able to continue our mission of helping the most vulnerable in our community.
 


Find out more about St Mary's House of Welcome:

Website: https://www.smhow.org.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smhow/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StMarysHOW
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stmaryshouseofwelcome/

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