At the Parish Assembly in September the Social Justice Group put a proposal that we ask our Parish to assist Asylum Seekers. The proposal was approved by the assembly and the PCT gave us permission to proceed. The Sisters of St Joseph in Footscray are working with refugees and have advised us that support can be given to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Footscray. The website provides excellent information. www.asrc.org.au
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre was started in June 2001 and has delivered assistance to Asylum Seekers with the help of over 800 committed volunteers and 35 staff members. Over half their clients have no income at all and over 90% live below the poverty line. The centre is in Nicholson St Footscray and through its programs provides free health, medical, legal, employment, casework, material aid and a Foodbank. It also provides a hot meal for 150 people each weekday at the Centre. Asylum seekers can visit the Foodbank once a week, where their dignity is preserved by allowing them to make their own selections within set limits, rather than be allocated a food parcel. The food provided has been donated or purchased with donated funds from people like us from all over Victoria. Donations of basic non perishable items such as canned tomatoes, lentils or beans (without sauce), pasta ,rice, cereals, long life milk, dishwashing detergent, soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and shaving gear are always needed.  Over the next two weeks there will be a container placed in both Churches for donations of these items. Members of the Social Justice Group are happy to deliver these items to Footscray. This appears to be a very practical way we could assist. Thank You. For further information please contact the parish office….0397441060

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