How can a Christmas meal turn a life around?

This festive season, give a gift from the heart

This 2018 festive season, between 25 December and 12 January 2019, our Dining Hall will serve about 4,800 meals to people in the Port Phillip community.

It costs us over $730,000 to keep the Dining Hall running, 365 days a year.

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Nick* first heard about our welcoming, non-judgemental Dining Hall, where he people can enjoy breakfast and lunch, 30 years ago when Sacred Heart Mission’s doors first opened.

“Back then I did very little in the way of socialising, apart from people I knew in the Dining Hall. It was nice to make friends and feel welcome after such a difficult time in my life,” Nick says.

Nick lost his housing after a relationship breakdown. This lead to problematic alcohol use, resulting in memory loss and cognitive impairment. He ended up in hospital and then on the streets.

“I had absolutely nothing back then. Only what I could carry.”
“I moved around a lot. I even slept on St Kilda beach for a few weeks.”
“There were hundreds of people. You used to have to move someone’s foot to find somewhere to put your head.”

For someone experiencing homelessness or disadvantage, trusting people doesn’t come easy. At Sacred Heart Mission, earning someone’s trust is essential.

The Dining Hall is a key ‘engagement hub’ in St Kilda

Our ‘engagement hub’ model allows our highly-skilled staff to gradually establish trust with people over time, building a connection, assisting recovery and providing vital services such as housing support.

A simple meal is the first step in improving lives, everyone is welcome at our table.

Give a gift from the heart and provide a long-term solution to some of the hardest to reach people in the community.

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Nick, who turned 73 this year, found a new home and a supportive community at our Sacred Heart Community residence. For the past three years he has enjoyed cuppas with other residents, fishing trips and quizzes, and browsing the nearby Sacred Heart Mission op shop on Grey Street.

“I have a good place and good friends I can come home to. It's better than most people have and the Mission is the reason for that.”

Nick’s story shows us how a simple meal can develop into a trusted relationship. From regular visits to the Dining Hall he was able to access other services, such as Sacred Heart Community.

Trust is essential in order to get people the tailored support they need that leads to housing and long-term, ongoing care.

Please give now to provide this kind of opportunity for many more people in our community.

Donate now

*Nick is a real person and his story is true. We have changed his name and the name of his children to protect his privacy.

0136,596Meals served through our meals program over the last year
069,269Hours contributed by our volunteers over the last year
05,740Responses at our Women’s House over the last year
Sacred Heart Mission respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we operate our services. We pay our respects to the ongoing living cultures of Aboriginal peoples, and to Elders past, present and future.
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