This story was originally published by Melbourne Catholic.
Netty Horton, recently appointed CEO of CatholicCare, has used the opportunity of an interview with Archdiocesan Director of Media and Communications Shane Healy to put out an urgent call for volunteers from the Melbourne community.
CatholicCare and St Vincent’s Health Australia recently partnered to support Iraqi and Syrian refugees by housing them in self-contained units on the site of St Vincent’s Health Care Services in Eltham. Known as The Eltham Project, the units provided much needed temporary emergency accommodation to dozens of refugee families and individuals.
Unfortunately, the refugee housing project is due to conclude at the end of September this year.
At that time, the units will be used as affordable housing for seniors. Of all those Iraqi and Syrian refugees in The Eltham Project, the good news is that those over the age of 55 will be staying on in their existing units. However, there are 18 other households who will now need to be transitioned into private accommodation.
With a deadline of 15 September staring her in the face, CatholicCare’s Netty Horton spoke to Shane Healy about the urgent need for up to 15 volunteers to help these refugee families look for and transition into new longer term accommodation.
The Eltham Project has captured the hearts and minds of individuals, community groups, schools and parishes, and CatholicCare has been inundated with offers of support, from furnishing units to donating goods, welcoming residents and volunteering.
As well as volunteers to support these 15 individual refugee families, CatholicCare is also keen to hear from anyone in the community who may have information on low-cost accommodation for medium to long term lease. This could be anything from houses, apartments, villa units, bungalows, granny flats or cabins in Melbourne.
Any offers of assistance, from volunteering to real estate, are welcome.
Please contact us on (03) 9287 5555 or email CatholicCare@ccam.org.au
Visit the Volunteer page to see how you can get involved, or click here to learn more about the Eltham Project.