St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal and Backpack Beds
The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement for 2018–19 is titled A Place to Call Home: Making a home for everyone in our land. It confronts the growing challenge of homelessness and housing insecurity in Australia.
The latest Census figures show that more than 116,000 Australians are homeless – something unacceptable for a rich and well-resourced nation like ours. Yet these people are only the tip of the iceberg: welfare agencies report growing numbers of families and individuals struggling to meet the cost of mortgages or rents and turning to specialist housing services, which are often unable to meet demand. The full statement can be read at https://www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au/
The local St Vincent de Paul Society deals with this reality on a daily basis and have asked the college to partner with Backpack Beds to provide direct relief to those court on the fringes of the house services available in our region. The Justice Action Group addressed this need at the St Martin Day Assembly. St Martin de Porres always understood that the social mission of the Church is not an optional extra to the faith but intrinsic to it. Social justice is about ushering in the Reign of God and bring about those values in all situations of need in our world.
The Bishops consider the extent of our housing crisis and Australia’s falling rates of home ownership. They focus especially on those in our society who are most vulnerable to housing insecurity and homelessness. We are reminded that safe and secure housing is a human right, asserted both by the Church’s social teaching and by the Declaration of Human Rights.
We hope to be able to provide as many of the $105 Backpack Beds as possible in the lead up to the term break.