Forum searches for solution to homelessness


Community Forum on Homelessness News Story
CatholicCare Social Services - Diocese of Parramatta Executive Director Otto Henfling, Rev Derek Yule, Tanya Gadiel, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Cathy Tracey and the Forum’s MC, Sunday Nights on ABC Radio producer, Noel Debien. Photo: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu

CatholicCare Social Services - Diocese of Parramatta (CCSS) and Churches Housing Inc co-hosted a successful Community Forum on Homelessness in Parramatta on Tuesday 8 November.

With the soaring cost of living in Western Sydney, high rents and the urgent need for investment in public and supported housing, the Forum promoted discussions on homelessness and examined potential solutions.

Speakers included Rev Derek Yule (Churches Housing Inc Executive Officer and Community Housing Federation of Australia Chair), Tanya Gadiel (Parramatta Mission’s community services division Chief Executive), Cathy Tracey (CCSS Family & Community Support Senior Manager) and Rosemary Bishop (Affordable Community Housing Ltd in NSW Chair and Mamre Project at St Marys CEO).

The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, hosted the Forum lunch.

In his address to the Forum, Bishop Anthony said the Church is at the coalface assisting people in dealing with the effects of homelessness, through the work of its parishes, diocesan agencies, lay associations and religious congregations.

I am heartened that CatholicCare Parramatta has partnered with Churches Housing to put on today’s forum and that people from a variety of backgrounds have taken part. Few people realise just how much unmet need there is in Western Sydney for emergency accommodation and longer-term affordable housing,” Bishop Anthony said.

The Church must walk her talk, and lead by example. I have asked the Diocesan Business Manager and the Executive Director of CatholicCare to explore how the Diocese of Parramatta can better contribute to reducing homelessness.

I’ve asked those responsible for our pastoral planning process to put this on their agenda. I do not have any pre-conceived notions of what we may end up doing, but I do hope we can do more. Today’s forum is a start. We will leave better informed.”

Read Bishop Anthony’s Address in full at the Diocese of Parramatta site

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