Yarraville church making a difference in Refugee Week

A church in Yarraville has made a huge difference in the housing needs of people seeking asylum as part of their commitment to Refugee Week (June 18-24).

Westgate Baptist Community has donated over $5,000 to Baptcare’s Houses of Hope project, an exciting community-based response to the critical shortage of housing for people seeking asylum living in the community.

There are currently an estimated 11,000 people seeking asylum in Victoria, many of which experience barriers such as lack of rental history, language differences and racism making them extremely vulnerable to homelessness.

Baptcare’s Houses of Hope engage with churches to offer safe, suitable and secure housing to very vulnerable individuals and families who otherwise face homelessness. Through this housing, residents have the opportunity to engage with and benefit from the local community, access basic services as well as pathways to education, employment and independence in the quest to help them transition from seeking asylum to community member.

Some of the past Houses of Hope residents have gone onto employment in cafes and restaurants, while current residents with work rights are engaged in training and volunteering to build skills for future employment.

Baptcare’s Houses of Hope Coordinator, Leonie Walker praised the contribution made by Westgate Baptist Community stating it would greatly add to the number of people seeking asylum able to be supported. “Through this contribution we will be able to pay for electricity, gas and water for two houses for a year, assisting six people seeking asylum by providing them with a safe and secure house to live and thrive within. This act of kindness will make a meaningful difference in the lives of so many within the Yarraville and surrounding community,” said Ms Walker.

Contact: Annemarie Watt

Phone: 0428 063 664