CatholicCare Social Services – Diocese of Parramatta, thanks the Knights of Malta for their generosity and compassion in providing 100 ‘Coats for the Homeless’ in our Diocese. It is only through such help that we are able to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
The specially designed coats were donated by the NSW branch of the Order of Malta to CatholicCare Sydney, along with CatholicCare Parramatta, Wollongong and Broken Bay. Homeless men and women enthusiastically received the coats from CatholicCare.
As miserable winter weather assailed Sydney, most people buried themselves under the covers – grateful to be warm and safe. However, Sydney’s homeless huddled in train stations, public parks and anywhere they could find shelter.
The shocking fact is that homelessness is increasing. Robert Costa, from the Order of Malta, explained the grim reality at the CatholicCare Sydney office: “In NSW there are 28,190 homeless people, and that’s an increase of 20.4% since 2006.” Homelessness Australia statistics state that one in 200 people in Sydney was homeless during winter.
The CEO of CatholicCare Parramatta, Joe Cashman, said the ‘Coats for the Homeless’ program provides an opportunity to help at a very fundamental level.
“Can you imagine living on the streets of Sydney in the cold without a coat to keep you warm? These coats offered protection against the cold and I like to believe they also gave people a feeling of hope and dignity,” Mr Cashman said.
“The Catholic Social Teaching on Human Dignity and Homelessness tells us that each member of the human family has equal rights because we are all children of one God. We are sisters and brothers to each other.”
Mr Cashman concluded: “The Missions of the Order of Malta and CatholicCare network are perfectly aligned in our aim to break this cycle of homelessness and reduce the number of homeless people on our streets.”
To find out more about the Coats for the Homeless program, please visit the Order of Malta website.