Cana Communities to Support Homeless People in Australia

Poverty and social injustice, Refugees, immigrants and ethnic minorities - Europe North America Australia & Japan

Cana is a charitable organisation in Sydney, which runs a number of homeless shelters, a café, and some long stay homes for homeless and mentally ill people. Its philosophy is very much aimed at creating a community in which it member's can have social interaction, gain confidence and assistance and flourish once again. It was a tough and challenging project but an immensely rewarding and very fulfilling experience at the end.

There was a group of 4 international volunteers with a local leader. We were working in homeless overnight shelters some nights, also working with a core group of individuals staying at 2 long stay houses who had addiction and other problems so there were some tough moments, some tears, some aggro but an awful lot of laughs too..... We brought this group on a 3 day holiday to a beach house up the coast; we planted a new garden at one of the houses, painted a mural at another house and played in Sydney homeless soccer matches.

Having lived in Sydney before I saw a very different side of the city, one I had never even noticed existed. I managed to connect with 1 or 2 of the long stay residents and they brought me for a drink before I left, that was nice..!!

Cyril O'Connor

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