Supporting people who are living in poverty in Melbourne

St Mary’s House of Welcome opens a door to people who are homeless or living in poverty in Melbourne.  We have an open door policy; we work with people who have been excluded from other services, have complex problems, are isolated and are most at risk of falling through the gaps.


Life’s tough on the streets of Melbourne

If you’re lucky enough to have your own home, a job, supportive family and friends, you’ll probably never need the services of St Mary’s House of Welcome. But not everyone is that lucky. There are many men and women in Melbourne who find themselves disconnected and confused, looking for a safe place and help to access services. St Mary’s works with these people, and anyone who needs help. Find out how you can help people in need.

St Mary’s is a welcoming space in the heart of Fitzroy

We open our doors to those in need, six days a week. Our centre provides emergency relief, showers and meals for people in need as well as information and referrals. Longer-term programs and activities assist people to develop work, life and social skills and enable them to participate more positively in our community.

In the financial year 2012-2013, St Mary’s provided 63,430 meals or food hampers. Community workers also provided almost seven thousand interventions throughout the year (these include support and counselling, emergency relief requests, information and referrals, financial advocacy and drug and alcohol support.)

If you need help

St Mary’s is located at 165 – 169 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, and you’re always welcome.

We provide breakfast, lunch, snacks, showers and emergency assistance. We do not provide accommodation but we can help you find accommodation. We also have longer-term programs and referral networks – you can talk to us about the help you need.

We are open Monday – Saturday. See our Contact Us page for full opening hours information.

For more information about our service go to What we do

Photograph by Sarah Anderson

“That place ought to be seen to be believed. It’s fantastic. They cater for men and women who might have a cubby hole somewhere but have no social outlet, no food, so they feed them twice a day. They give them the ability to try to learn and improve themselves through either IT or art, or singing.”
Governor Alexander Chernov


St Mary’s history

Daughters serving foodSt Mary’s was established by the Daughters of Charity in 1960 after they observed increasing queues of people waiting to receive sandwiches outside St Vincent’s Hall.

St Mary’s was opened so that the hungry could be invited inside to be served a meal with dignity. The initial building at 167 Brunswick Street provided a kitchen and dining room, clothing storage, office space, shower and clinic facilities. Since 1960 the services offered have become more sophisticated, with social and welfare workers employed to assist those coming for a meal – recognizing the opportunity to connect and engage with people visiting the center for its services.

_S9F7709In 2009 a new renovated building was opened at 165-169 Brunswick Street – a welcoming space that is both comfortable and dignified for those who use it. New facilities include a women’s room, training kitchen, arts and crafts room, computer training room, multi purpose room and health clinic.

Today, as a charity and public benevolent institution, St Mary’s House of Welcome continues to provide support, solutions and hope for hundreds of homeless and disadvantaged people in the City of Yarra, with hundreds of volunteers contributing to this mission each year.

Learn more about the history of the Daughters of Charity and St Mary’s


Related links and info

From Twitter @stmaryshow