What we do

SUPPORTING PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS

St Mary’s House of Welcome is a not-for-profit open access centre in the heart of Melbourne providing basic essential services to people who are homeless and experiencing poverty, severe and persistent mental health issues, and those who are extremely isolated and socially marginalised.

Many of those who come to St Mary’s House of Welcome for help experience multiple issues such as sleeping rough, drug addiction, poverty, childhood trauma, mental illness, institutionalization and street drinking, all of which result in chronic social and health problems. 

St Mary’s House of Welcome’s open-door policy means that anyone who needs help can come to the centre for practical assistance. Whether it’s a meal, a shower and a change of clean clothes or other material aid, or more specialist support such as information, referral to access specialist services, legal support and emergency relief, at St Mary’s House of Welcome, we open our doors to those in need, six days a week.

St Mary’s House of Welcome works with people who have been excluded from other services, have complex problems, are isolated and are most at risk of falling through the gaps.

In addition to basic, essential services, St Mary’s House of Welcome also provides a comprehensive monthly program of structured activities (art and craft groups, fishing group, pool competition, choir, gardening) with an emphasis on creating greater social inclusion opportunities for those who are otherwise excluded from many of the things most of us take for granted.  

St Mary’s House of Welcome’s programs encourage communal engagement, and provide a sense of being valued, the experience of being treated with dignity and inclusion within community.

St Mary’s House of Welcome also collaborates with several external agencies and organisations to enhance participants’ access to specialist services in a safe and familiar environment.

Service statistics

  • In financial year 17/18, St Mary’s House of Welcome provided over 41,000 hot meals to some of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged men, women and children
  • Each day, St Mary’s House of Welcome helps approximately 200 people who are experiencing homelessness, poverty and mental illness
  • Each month, St Mary’s House of Welcome provides over 600 hot showers to men and women who have been sleeping rough
  • Laundry facilities are provided each Monday and Saturday through Orange Sky Laundry, allowing people who have been sleeping rough to wash their clothes and blankets
  • It is estimated that 89 per cent of the people seen at St Mary’s House of Welcome suffer from mental health issues.
  • St Mary’s House of Welcome provides over 100 referrals to health and other welfare services to clients each month.

Related links and info

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