It Feels Good To Give. [Photo credit Abigail Keenan,]

Aquinas student raises $1844 through impressive bake off

Fifteen-year-old Jack first became aware of the diversity of the East Perth community when his parents moved their office to Brown Street in 2014, which is close to St Bart’s Women’s Service.
“Occasionally Jack was exposed to the effects of homelessness because of the people in the area, so my husband and I would talk to him about it,” says Jack’s mum, Fiona. “My husband is excellent at explaining things to keep him safe but not scared.”
This exposure, along with the guiding principles of Mum and Dad, pushed Jack into action. Drawing on his talent for baking, in 2019 Jack created a baking fundraiser and donated the proceeds of $850 to St Bart’s.
“I really wanted to bake on a large scale and I saw that maybe the ladies at the Women’s Service could benefit from it,” Jack said. 
Rolling up his sleeves once again in August, the Aquinas College student cooked up more delicious batches of cookies and as word got out, he soon had a backlog of orders from supporters both near and far. 
Incredibly, Jack raised $1844 for St Bart’s! 
“We have lots of friends interstate and overseas who wanted to support Jack, and so we gave them the option of buying a box of cookies to donate to the people that St Bart’s assists,” said mum, Fiona. 
Jack presented the cheque to former resident/current volunteer Kerry and our CEO Samantha Drury during one of the busy Café Lime mornings, and received a huge round of applause from the people in St Bart’s services.

We asked Jack a few questions about his fundraising, which you can read here.

Positive vibes only for Milly

"I believe I will leave St Bart’s with a future because I can have a future. I feel as if I have awoken from a bad dream. I know the past cannot be erased but it can be turned into a positive, and I see this when I share my story and see the positive impact it has had on people."
The wonderful Milly who resides at our Women's Service has generously shared her story - from the darkest place she had ever been to her optimism for what the future now holds.

Take a moment to have a read.

A note from our CEO 

We sure have missed our volunteers over the last six months, so it’s been wonderful to see school students returning to our sites for some of our first activities since COVID restrictions were eased. You’ll read more about how the St Stephen’s School students have been supporting us further on in this newsletter.

Meanwhile, Sacred Heart College students have been busy supporting us from their school with hundreds of meals and other donations.

We have also been proud to be able to provide a tour of our services to most of the City of Perth Mayoral candidates as the election draws near. They have appreciated the opportunity to speak face-to-face with our residents, as well as see the wonderful contribution our volunteers make on a twice-weekly basis at our Café Lime.

We welcome the fact that homelessness is a key issue in the election campaign and we will continue to work closely with the City, and the successful Mayor, to ensure attention remains on the issue.

In other news, I’m excited to share with you that I have been appointed as Chair of the Western Australian Council on Homelessness, which provides an external advisory role to our Minister, the Hon. Simone McGurk, bringing forward information on current and emerging issues affecting homelessness in WA and solutions to address these. I’m looking forward to the challenge of being able to help influence, and understand first-hand the Government’s commitment to the sector, which will also enable a great level of forward planning for St Bart’s to support the action plan of the Government around the ending homelessness agenda.

Thank you for your continued support of our work here at St Bart’s. We hope you enjoy this edition of our latest news.

Samantha Drury
St Bart's CEO   

Mayoral candidates visit

It’s been a busy couple of months here at St Bart’s as the topic of how to alleviate the challenges surrounding homelessness has gained momentum with the pending October City of Perth election. 
We’ve had visits from four of the six Mayoral candidates so far, and here’s what they’ve had to say:

“Amy and I came down to see the work that is being done at St Bart’s and to listen to residents and people who are running the facility. I wanted to see what the City of Perth can do to help if I were elected as Lord Mayor.” - Basil Zempilas

“I am really concerned that there is not enough accommodation for women and there are so many assets and buildings in the city that can be easily turned around to provide some short term crisis accommodation solutions. Given Perth’s post-COVID crisis, we are seeing more and more people present on the streets, and as a society we need to do more to help them.” – Di Bain

“I live in the city and see the issues first hand and in addition to more social housing and transitional accommodation, ourtreach programs that support people once they find a home are very important.” 
- Mark Gibson.

"There are so many great service providers in Perth - we don't need more we just need to better look after the ones we have. The money is there, it's just not pointing in the right direction. It's time to put the money where the mouth is, and support organisations like St Bart's to continue to provide their services to the people that need it." – Sandy Anghie.

Candidate Brodie McCulloch has also had a briefing from our CEO. 

Music to our ears

The rain ceased, the clouds parted and the sun came out just in time for an awesome show by Timothy Nelson and band on the terrace of our Community Housing building earlier this month. Complete with a BBQ lunch prepared by a couple of our amazing volunteers, it was just what was needed to break the week up. 
A huge thanks to the collaborative effort between WAM, Minderoo Foundation and 360 Artist Logistics that has made this and other performances possible for our residents throughout the pandemic.

Feast Day of St Bartholomew

Celebrations for the Feast Day of St Bartholomew started a day early this year, with a special prayer for the homeless at a beautiful service at St George’s Cathedral on Sunday August 23. 

Our very own Chaplain Ross Jones, along with volunteer Chaplains, acknowledged the staff and supporters of St Bart’s for walking alongside those they support and giving them hope.

The following day, on August 24, we celebrated the Feast Day of St Bartholomew with members of St Bart’s community gathering for a thanksgiving service led by The Most Reverend Kay Goldsworthy, Archbishop, who acknowledged there are many in our community who don’t have a safe place to sleep at night.

“We are gathering here for one particular reason; we want everyone to feel safe, we want everyone to have somewhere they know they are loved and that they are valued,” she said, thanking St Bart’s staff and volunteers for the support they provide on a daily basis.

Following the service, Archbishop Kay had a tour of our Women’s Service and the opportunity to talk to residents and learn about their experiences with homelessness. 

Chaplain Ross Jones was also a special guest on Sonshine FM’s Mornings segment, speaking with announcer Chris ‘Lockie’ Lock about a number of our programs, including our Women’s Service. 

If you missed Ross’ interview, you can listen here -


There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, which is why the message behind R U OK? Day is more important than ever.
Both residents and staff got to indulge in these little delights in honour of R U OK? Day recently, and it was smiles all round!
“We are better together, even if we are not ok,” said one resident.

Wanda, our exceptional manager of the Swan Community Recovery Village, said “We work together to connect with each other. We know that just because someone carries it well it doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy. It’s so important to be courageous and ask each other if we’re doing ok - they’re some of the most significant conversations we have with each other.”

From the street to life coach

Matt Vapor shares his story

The fear and vulnerability of living life on the streets is expressed beautifully by Matt Vapor, an educated man and professional speaker who also knows what it is like to be homeless.
Matt recently shared his story with new employees at an induction in August, and feedback from attendees was that it really connected them to the reason St Bart’s is here and why our wonderful staff do what they do.

Read here.

The community that keeps giving

Forever grateful for our generous giving community, we were delighted to receive donations over the last month from schools, organisations, the Cathedral and a number of kind-hearted individuals:

Sacred Heart - students, parents and volunteers of Sacred Heart College volunteered their time to prepare 241 meals, which were divvied up to go to residents in our different services. 
Christ Church Grammar School – students got to work preparing 50 welcome packs for new residents coming into our services, as well as those that present at St Bart’s but who we are unable to assist at this time due to capacity.
Irene McCormack Catholic College – we were so pleased to receive 60 welcome packs for our consumers from the school, in addition to a number of dental and other toiletry items that we can provide for our residents.
St George’s Cathedral – thank you to the wonderful people who donated to St George’s Cathedral’s sock drive for St Bart’s recently, which is always welcome throughout these cooler months.
The amazing team from Wungening Aboriginal Corporation recently donated a number of food hampers for the people in our Reconnecting Lives Program. Craig, pictured below, was really happy to receive his hamper!

Anne’s garden blitz

Many hands make light work in the garden, which was evident when our volunteer squad mobilised to undertake a gardening blitz for one of our most adorable residents, Anne. It was a day of weeding, digging, planting and laughter as five volunteers armed with shovels, rakes, gloves and garbage bags slashed and dug through a plantation of weeds and even found Anne's front hose that had been missing for months! 
The end result was fantastic and Anne was chuffed with her spruced up garden.
Our volunteers are a fantastic bunch, and we thank Christian, Mark, Charlie and Mars for an amazing effort!

Mulching at Bentley

Another one of our volunteer super crews got their hands dirty at our Bentley Community Recovery Village. After the truck delivered a huge haul of mulch, the team got to work on the garden beds outside each villa for a nice little makeover. 

The big birthday bash

It was a cracking day on the terrace at our Community Housing recently as we celebrated the birthdays of this boisterous bunch! They insisted they only turned 21 but we have an inkling they’re telling fibs. In fact, it was a very special birthday (the big 5-0) for Athol on the left.
We were so grateful for the student volunteers from St Stephen's School who cooked up a storm on the BBQ and engaged with our residents. 
Another group of St Stephen's students were busy sorting out donated goods in the morning as we begin to prepare for our major Christmas appeal!

When there’s no place to call home: Stories of people who have experienced homelessness in WA

The deeply personal stories in ‘When there’s no place to call home: Stories of people who have experienced homelessness in WA’ can help dispel some of the myths surrounding homelessness, allowing us to create a fuller understanding of how people become homeless and the kind of supports that make a difference. 
Collected as part of the public consultation process for the Western Australian 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness, the book provides a platform for people who often remain unseen or whose voices are unheard.
Click here to download the book, and please share with the people in your life to help reshape the narrative about people in our community who have endured life without a home.

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St Bart's
7 Lime Street
East Perth WA 6004