More than 300 guests, including the Governor-General David Hurley, gathered in the Good Samaritan Centre of Lourdes Hill College recently to highlight the situation of people experiencing homelessness and raise funds to assist them.
Nicole Caulfield, Deputy Principal – Community and Identity at Lourdes Hill, said the college invited the Governor-General and Mrs Hurley to the annual Outreach High Tea fundraiser to increase people’s awareness of two organisations that assist people who do not have a place to call home – Good Samaritan Housing and Rosies.
“Homelessness is a growing issue,” Nicole said. “In Brisbane, nearly 10,000 people don’t have a roof over their head.”
Lourdes Hill College’s Outreach Program mirrors St Luke’s parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), where students and staff are able to help those in need. Students in years 10, 11 and 12 are given the opportunity to go out in the evening in the Rosies Street Van, assist the Wesley Mission with their evening meal, help the Salvos with their Sunday Roast, join the Ecumenical Coffee Brigade to make sandwiches for those experiencing homelessness, and have an early morning chat and cuppa with the residents of Wickham Park.
The Governor-General praised the efforts of two current staff members, Brisbane Canossian Sister Sally Fuller and Ms Anne Rynne, who started the Outreach Program more than 10 years ago.
“Sister Sally and Anne have given their all to the College’s Outreach Program,” General Hurley said.
“Testament to their efforts is that there are nearly 150 students participating in more than 50 outreach programs each year.”
General Hurley also praised the efforts of staff and student volunteers.
Homelessness is an issue at the heart of the College’s Outreach Program so it was fitting that this year’s High Tea raised awareness of two not-for-profit organisations, Rosies and Good Samaritan Housing.
Rosies Street Van reaches out to people who are most in need. It connects with people who are lonely, abandoned and marginalised. Rosies helps people to reconnect with society.
Good Samaritan Housing provides accommodation and support to mothers and young children who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.
“Good Samaritan Housing was designed not simply to lift people out of homelessness or the risk of homelessness, but was there to give shelter and support, be a learning and mentoring experience and provide a sense of community,” guest speaker and Good Samaritan Housing Board Member, Sister Catherine Norman said.
Women and young children are able to stay at Good Samaritan Housing for up to 12-months and in that time, they have access to a community co-ordinator who reviews residents; assists residents in establishing personal goals and a personal development program; sources appropriate workshops, links residents into community services and childcare facilities and plans social and recreational family activities.
“Good Samaritan Housing provides these mothers with a link to their local community,” said Catherine.
To give further support to Good Samaritan Housing, the College ran a linen drive to enable new linen to be gifted to those mums who need a helping hand.
“The generosity and thoughtfulness of Lourdes Hill College’s community shone as donations flooded in,” Nicole said.