Below is a history of the foundation of ECW, in particular the establishment of St Giles Lodge in April of 2002, St Giles has now closedhowever our work continues in other fields, including Thailna,d India and Kenya.
Bishop Ronald Langham, acting in response to a demonstrated need in Sydney?s western suburbs, incorporated Ecumenical Catholic Welfare, and opened a refuge for homeless men with mental health issues. (In August 2008 it was decided to change the name of our organisation to Ecumenical Christian Welfare, to avoid any confusion with other similar organisations.)
St. Giles Lodge is now temporary home to 16 adult men and women from various backgrounds. All of our residents were homeless, or threatened with imminent homelessness, immediately prior to coming to St. Giles. A great many of our long-term residents live with mental health issues and a number of others were recently released from prison.
St. Giles aims to be a safe and supportive environment for all guests and we work closely with the local mental health team and other professionals. We are building strong relationships in the community with both Government and non-government agencies. Our service is totally self-reliant to this point and we receive no government funding. It is our hope and our prayer that we will receive some assistance so as to provide a higher level of care to our guests, many of whom are faced with sleeping on the streets if St. Giles were to cease to exist.
Since 2004, we have partnered with the NSW Department of Housing to provide emergency accommodation and support to the homeless men and women of Western Sydney in addition to our longer-term support to those with mental health issues. This has greatly alleviated the immediate needs of over 200 people in the space of just 10 months! We provide over 20000 meals per year and over 6500 bed nights per year - all without government funding.