House of Hope
The House of Hope is a partnership between Ashburton Baptist Church and Baptcare* that:
- Provides transitional housing in Ashburton for 4-6 people seeking asylum who are unable to afford private rental.
- Offers professional outreach and casework support to residents.
- Links residents to services for their material wellbeing, health and social participation.
- Offers participation in activities to support transition into the community.
Established in February 2016, the need for such accommodation is clear:
- There are approximately 12,000 people seeking asylum in Victoria.
- About 10,000 of these receive some government support.
- High rent costs mean basic items such as food, clothing or travel can be unaffordable.
- The remaining 2,000 do not receive any government support.
- Homelessness is a major issue amongst people seeking asylum and the number who are homeless is rising.
For I was hungry
I was thirsty
I was a stranger
We decided to act because:
- We want people seeking asylum who are living in our community to be treated with respect and compassion.
- Jesus asks us to care for strangers in need.
- We have a long history of supporting migrants and refugees.
- We want our church to show leadership and compassion in the community.
Ashburton Baptist, via ABCSI*, provides the house to Baptcare rent free. Local volunteers give practical assistance, social inclusion and mentoring for the residents. Baptcare provides property and tenancy management services and arranges outreach and casework support for the residents.
If you would like to know more about the Ashburton House of Hope or would like to make a donation to this project, please contact the ABC Office or find the details here. View the video presented at the House of Hope launch on 14 Feb 2016 or see the Ashburton Community Newsletter article about the launch.
Rev. Chris Turner, chaplain of the Baptcare Sanctuary, was the speaker at the official launch, click here to hear what he said. Click on these links if you would like to know more about Baptcare's support of asylum seekers or to make a donation to Baptcare.
*ABCSI is Ashburton Baptist Community Services Inc, the public benefit and community engagement arm of Ashburton Baptist Church.
*Baptcare is a leading, faith-based not-for-profit organisation working across Victoria and Tasmania, providing residential and community care for older people, support to children, families, and people with disability, financially disadvantaged people and people seeking asylum.