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Sydney advocate for homeless says welfare system lacks heart

Australia's welfare system, athough necessary, plays a part in the sense of isolation often felt among our poor, according to Brian Stoney of the Cana Communities in inner Sydney.

He told The Catholic Weekly that the emotional needs of poor people are not met unless they feel they belong to a community.

Mr Stoney said: "Once the poor lose a sense of community, once the emphasis on care for one another is lost, they've got nothing - nothing for the nurturing of their hearts."

The Cana Communities for the homeless have embarked upon a method of fundraising that encourages recipients of the Cana communities' services to donate money in a way that provides them with opportunities to interact with others.

Inspired by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Cana Communities' focus is on recognising and celebrating the value of each person, particularly those most alienated within society. Part of this involves the celebration of individuals through birthday parties and having special doonas made for crisis accommodation beds. LINKS
Eighteen mattresses, and fresh hope (SMH feature, 28/7/00)

Catholic Weekly