St Vincent de Paul news

Saint Vincent de Paul

October 2017, the students of St Patrick’s College accepted a challenge to assist the Saint Vincent de Paul housing program, by donating household items. These items were to help people who are transitioning from homelessness to temporary accommodation, so that they could move forward into long term housing. In reality, everyday items that we take for granted in our lives, but for someone who is homeless a luxury they could not afford.

 Through contact with Raeleen Etelaaho, (SVDP) Housing Officer, we have created a program where the students and staff bring in house hold items, to create welcome hampers which are given to new tenants upon arrival. When a new tenant is arriving, Raeleen lets me know and we drop off the hamper, out of respect for the dignity of the person, we don’t usually meet the person. However, we do get some background of the people we have helped, which I would like to share these with you. In the past seven months we have given support to:

  • A young woman relocating from Bowen – trying to start a new life
  • 48 year old male – local man long-time homeless - currently living in his car
  • Male 50 years - long term homeless
  • A single mum with 4 boys aged between 12 and one year old
  • A Lady 22 years – this young lady has an amazing and inspirational story having been homeless since the age of 13
  • Male 54 years, he has been in a caravan since losing his previous housing to cyclone Debbie. Has been unwell and needs stability
  • A Lady 31 years escaping domestic violence
  • Gentleman 50 years – coming from men’s emergency shelter
  • A female, 33 years coming from homelessness
  • Male aged 24 years – acquired brain injury – very little access to finances moving into transitional housing
  • A Lady, 41 years, moving into a property who has come from homelessness
  • A gentleman moving into a Transitional unit. He has been living in his car for sometime

The intention of the program has always been to create the opportunity for the students, to provide assistance for people in need without seeking attention for the College. We do this to help others not ourselves.

 “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

 “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4, NRSV)

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