Sacred Heart Mission

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Parish Priest Father Ernie Smith founded the charity

in the year 1982 due to a gospel letter he read

"...for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was

thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger

and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed

me; sick and you visited me; in prison and you came

to see me" Matthew 25: 35-36. He decided to open

his door and shared a meal with a homeless man.

He later on decided to establish the Sacred Heart

Mission, his goals were to provide food, clothing,

emergency relief, accommodation and companionship

to the homeless people of Melbourne. The charity

has been based in St Kilda West's Sacred Heart Parish

Hall since 1982.

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"I love going to the Mission. Everyone always greets you with a warm hello."

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Strategic plan

Social inclusion

  • Develop our expertise in supporting adults with complex needs and establish the organisation as a practice leader in this area
  • Ensure our Aged Care operations meet the emerging needs of the Mission community
  • Improve access to housing for people who use Mission services
  • Implement a trauma informed approach to our service delivery
  • Improve connections to the community for the people we work with


  • Improve housing affordability for people who use Mission services
  • Use the Journey to Social Inclusion implementation and evaluation to improve the service response to people who are chronically homeless
  • Improve the understanding of homelessness in the community,particularly at a local level

Sustainability and growth

  • Establish clear financial goals
  • Grow op shop income
  • Attract and retain a highly skilled work force
  • Embed pastoral care in our services
  • Minimise our impact on the environment
  • Invest in the development of Business Services and our buildings
  • Grow our services in a way that is sustainable and improves the Mission’s capacity to work more effectively with people who have a history of homelessness and are socially excluded

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Founder of the Sacred Heart Mission


Welcome - we welcome and actively engage people in order to build relationships based on respect and trust.

Community - we enable people to feel supported by,and connected to the broader community.

Challenge - we challenge the unjust social and economic structures that cause disadvantage, social exclusion and homelessness.

Accountability - we measure the impact of our work so that we can develop the evidence to address deep, persistent disadvantage and social exclusion.

Innovation - we ensure that our services remain contemporary, creative, responsive and effective.

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