About Us

St Benedict’s is an initiative of the Uniting, Roman Catholic, Anglican and Baptist Churches to support poor, disadvantaged and homeless people in the greater Queanbeyan community. St Benedict’s is highly regarded in the community and has provided free meals to those in need in Queanbeyan and region for over 30 years. Over this time the service has evolved into the provision of emergency relief services (including food parcels, brokerage, and advocacy) as well the provision of accommodation for homeless people.

Inspired by the life and witness of Jesus, St Benedict’s seeks to create a safe and welcoming place where the dignity of each guest and volunteer is respected, celebrated and nurtured through friendship and loving service.

  • St Benedict’s Vision, Mission, Principles and Values

    Our Vision is:

    That our community has a plentiful supply of housing, access to education (primary, secondary and tertiary), an abundance of nutritional food available without being demeaned, opportunities to work and participate in our community and access to health services (medical, mental etc.).

    Our Mission is:

    A local caring community where all are welcome in the spirit of Christ and are offered practical support and respectful relationships to change lives.

    Our Principles are:

    • Creating a caring and accepting place for all.
    • Filling the gaps through timely, flexible and creative responses tailored for the context.
    • Connecting people and resources and providers with purpose.
    • Building and sharing trust for mutual benefit.
    • Giving generously, and receiving with grace, what we offer each other.
    • Walking with each other to find a way through.

    Our Values are:

    • Justice
    • Meekness
    • Empowerment
    • Love
    • Healing
    • Equity
    • Hope
    • Giving
    • Forgiveness
  • What does St Benedict’s do ?

    St Benedict’s occupies a purpose build social services centre in Queanbeyan which it shares with HOME in Queanbeyan (a housing service for people with low to moderate mental health issues). The centre has meeting and training rooms, a dining room, commercial kitchen, and internet access. In addition to the provision of emergency relief this facility provides opportunities for marginalised people who may be at risk of homelessness to build social support and friendship networks in a safe and friendly environment. It also enables St Benedict’s to provide some skills training, work experience and mentoring for clients and others to enable them to increase their employability and obtain an employer reference.

    St Benedict’s provides a free nutritious meal 5 days a week in a large and comfortable dining area with a welcoming, friendly atmosphere. Because St Benedict’s provides meals it has become a focal point in Queanbeyan for people who are in crisis, or need accommodation, which in turn means it is ideally placed to intervene early in poor situations and stabilise them. St Benedict’s approach is to provide support to enable people to stabilise their lives and become self-reliant or to transition to ongoing support.

    St Benedict’s has long been recognised as the “service of last resort” in the Queanbeyan region because no-one is turned away. St Benedict’s staff are skilled at assembling an immediate response for people in crisis, be it, accommodation, food parcels, household items, paying bills, cash or referrals, with the objective of keeping them safe and sustaining them until a permanent solution can be found.

    St Benedict’s service delivery model connects people to services that support them back into the community, the workforce and to health care so they can decrease, or move permanently away from, on-going dependence on welfare. St Benedict’s practice is to work with its clients and other agencies to support them until a sustainable solution is found. St Benedict’s will know that it has achieved its desired outcomes because the client will no longer require its help because they will have transitioned to another agency or be living in sustainable accommodation.

  • Who are St Benedict’s clients and what are their needs ?

    While much of Queanbeyan and surrounding areas rank as advantaged there are significant pockets of poverty. St Benedict’s assists people who:

    • are homeless or at risk of homelessness;
    • have mental health issues and/or are substance dependent;
    • are on low incomes who are struggling with the cost of living and need assistance with rent, electricity, gas, and telephone bills, medical expenses and food;
    • have low levels of formal education who may find it difficult to, and need assistance with, accessing services.
  • What has St Benedict’s achieved to date ?

    In FY 2017-18 St Benedict’s and its partners delivered:

    • 15,184 hot meals and 3,082 food parcels
    • 5,806 bed nights in short-term or emergency accommodation and 759 bed nights of long term accommodation
  • How much do St Benedict’s services cost to provide ?

    St Benedict’s has over 60 active volunteers in its kitchen and is also supported by the provision of surplus food from local food rescue services This means that the vast majority of donations are directed to assisting clients in the form of accommodation, food parcels, and other needs.

    St Benedict’s is highly efficient. In FY 2017-18 it spent approximately $12,000 directly purchasing food which it leveraged into 15,184 highly nutritious meals with a “street” value of approximately $230,000.