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Order of Malta Australia


2019 Coats for the Homeless Distribution Report


Thanks to our Members, volunteers and donors, 6,000 Coats for the Homeless are being distributed across Australia to rough sleepers.

To everyone who has contributed to this project – THANK YOU! We wanted to share some images from the distribution and messages of thanks we have received.

• Young Volunteers of the Order of Malta distributing the Coats in Roma Street Parklands in QLD
Member of the Order of Malta, Derek Pingel with CEO Derek Duffield of LifeLine in QLD who together with many volunteers does an outstanding job throughout the region for the homeless.

“I wish you could see the looks on the faces of the homeless men who get them…….. on Wednesday last I gave out three. Each of the blokes was looking cold and miserable and each time, I offered them a coat to try on to see if they would want one…..none of them would take them off, they were grinning like Cheshire cats and each said, in his own way, that they felt warm for the first time in ages.

They were each so is rare to see smiling.

Your work is much appreciated! ”
Anne Smith, President, St Vincent de Paul Albany

The Base in Toowoomba is run by a couple of outstanding volunteer social workers in a street front food and clothing shop where they feed the homeless and seriously disadvantaged; providing them clothing, coats, blankets and essential needs. This is a truly heart-warming and effective group of people who really do care so much for the homeless. Our Coats for the Homeless were very well received!

Just a note to say a very big thank you for the wonderful donation of those great winter coats. Many of our women sleep rough or in poor conditions and those coats are not only warm but provide a boost to their self-esteem.

Thank you again for thinking of Lou’s Place

(a community-based refuge in Sydney for women in crisis, homeless, feeling isolated or needing support).

“Many thanks for these wonderful coats.
The members of our community who are doing it tough and living on the street have found them absolutely fabulous.
We have a lot of fun when they try them on with them showing off as though they are on the catwalk. One woman who came to our crisis house had only a cardigan and now she is as warm as toast and really loving her jacket with a spring in her step.
They are all so grateful for your amazing generosity and they have all asked me to pass on their heartfelt thanks.
You now have an extra 96 supporters.
Thanks again – so much appreciated.”

Best wishes from all at Cana Communities

(organisation that runs homeless shelters, support and respite services in Sydney)

Students from Newman College assisting the Coats distribution in Melbourne.

In the metropolitan area the coats have gone to St Pat’s Fremantle, The Shopfront, Daydawn, Passages, and Tom Fisher House.
In the country the coats have been distributed to Mandurah, Albany, and Kalgoorlie Boulder through St Vincent de Pauls.

Today a further 400 coats have arrived and will be ready for distribution in the next week or so. Vinnies have undertaken to distribute these coats according to feedback about the demand.

Dr Michael Shanahan, Coats for the Homeless project Co-Ordinator in WA

Member of the Order, Danny Higgins (pictured left) doing great works in the provision of coats across many of the Brisbane and the Gold Coast areas, delivering Coats to “YOU HAVE A FRIEND”
Nursing students from the University of Notre Dame and employees from Australis Facilities Management and CPM attend our Sydney Community Car Van to distribute Coats, Hygiene Packs and water to the homeless in the CBD. They are joined by Paula, a nurse from St Vincent’s Hospital, who offers healthcare and advice to rough sleepers.
Coats provided to te Ozcare Men's Hostel in Toowoomba. At this facility, Members and volunteers of the Order have direct access to the homeless, and it's a wonderful opportunity to connect directly with them in handing out the coats.
Toowoomba Housing Hub is a recently formed entity which was backed by the State government and the first of its kind anywhere in Queensland. They have done a sensational job in bringing many organisations together under one roof providing for the needs of the homeless and seriously disadvantaged.

“It is easy, when focusing on your own life, to block out the rest of the world. The homeless in our city become apart of the landscape when we spend all of our time looking inward. This experience was very grounding, and reminded me of the many faces of homelessness, that it is a circumstance which affects a wide variety of people. It reminded of the value of simple things – many people were content with conversation, the simply joy of a warm jacket, the pleasure of a warm meal.”

Ashley, Coats distribution volunteer from Newman College Melbourne

Daly River, NT Coats for the Homeless and blanket distribution

A special mention to Simon National Carriers for providing freight services in support of this project and Oxford Shop for their warehousing and freight assistance. Both companies have supported this project over the years and we are extremely grateful for their ongoing commitment and generosity.

Although the 2019 project has been a huge success, yet again, demand for our Coats exceeded supply.

The only factor limiting our distribution volume is funding.

$100 will buy three specially designed, warm shower-proof coats for people who find themselves without a home.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to support this project.

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.