04 Jun 2024

Mass to mark Hutt St Centre anniversary

The Southern Cross | June 2024

The most selfless acts of kindness and generosity often go unrecognised but on June 22 the Hutt St Centre Commemorative Mass will acknowledge seven decades of assisting Adelaide’s homeless.

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“It’s a platinum jubilee,” said Hutt St Centre’s chief executive officer Chris Burns CSC.

“We are very conscious that we’re commemorating 70 years of service. We’re not celebrating; there’s nothing to celebrate about homelessness but we do need to recognise the amazing sacrifices and achievements by the various people that have been involved in Hutt St Centre.”

Described as a place of connection and support, where people facing homelessness are empowered to rebuild their lives, the Hutt St Centre was established by the Daughters of Charity in 1954 after they noticed a need for assistance in the south-eastern corner of Adelaide.

The Daughters of Charity order was founded by priest Vincent de Paul and his friend Louise de Marillac who ministered to poor and displaced people in cities and rural areas of 17th century France.

The Daughters of Charity arrived in Australia in 1926 and their work continues today.

“It was the Catholic Church that provided the facilities and identified the need,” said Mr Burns.

“The values and the spirit of the Daughters of Charity in the Catholic Church pervade everything we do here at Hutt St Centre.”

This includes providing a multi-service, non-residential agency to support homeless and vulnerable residents of inner-city Adelaide. In addition to essential personal and professional services, the aim is to achieve secure housing and social inclusion for the disadvantaged and homeless, including frail and aged men and women.

“Seventy years is a lot of service to the homeless of Adelaide,” said Mr Burns. “We couldn’t do it without our volunteers. We literally wouldn’t be able to open our doors. For 70 years we have relied on the community to provide volunteers and provide support in kind. We get very little government funding so we’ve had to rely on the South Australian community to provide us with the funding that allows us to deliver these services, meals, material aid and facilities.”

The Commemorative Mass is open to the public and will be held at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral at 3.30pm on Saturday June 22.

“We are fortunate to have some of the Daughters of Charity attending from Sydney,” said Mr Burns.

“That’s special because they previously worked at Hutt St Centre and it will be wonderful to acknowledge and thank them in person.”

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