SVDP Winter Appeal 2023

St Vincent de Paul Camberwell Conference

Camberwell Conference has a number of regular clients, mainly in public housing, but some stand out. St Vincent de Paul’s maxim is a hand up rather than a handout. One of our clients whom we have assisted over a number of years is a man who has tried to become independent by training as a carer, and we have supported him in this. He requires a car to provide care for disabled persons in their own homes, and we have contributed to his registration costs and fuel to maintain his vehicle. Unfortunately, his income as a casual worker varies, and his public housing rent has been set at his highest fortnightly salary. He wanted to be independent but still required help with basic cost of living expenses, which we have been glad to provide.

In 20 years of Conference calls I have encountered few as heart-rending as one during our joint calls with a Deepdene colleague in 2021. The caller was a woman recently released from hospital, battered and bruised by a partner then on remand, and dreading that he might be given bail. The house interior was a shambles, with all of her possessions trashed, most of the furniture smashed and much of it lying in the backyard. We were able to listen to her story, offer her some reassurance and provide some material assistance. Food vouchers and Vinnies cards for her to obtain clothing and some household necessities were all we could offer in the short term.

On the local scene we have witnessed some good outcomes. A couple who found their feet after some months of assistance, and a number of cases where the need for help was to establish a household after moving into unfurnished accommodation. As some additional public housing becomes available, the Society is concerned that the public authority is advising tenants to apply to “Vinnies” for furniture and whitegoods, which is beyond our capacity. SVDP is currently in partnership with the State Government to build 167 public housing units. Nevertheless, we have to do what we can to provide beds and bedding, fridges and furniture to enable people with limited means to establish a household.

By John Morrissey, St Vincent de Paul Camberwell Conference


All donations to the St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal are gratefully appreciated.  Donations can be made direct to your applicable Parish Conference by visiting their donation page using the below link or QR code.  You can also download the Appeal Donation Form. Learn more about the work of the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Camberwell Conference

Deepdene & Balwyn Conference

Surrey Hills Wattle Park Conference




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