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DineSmart Restaurants and Diners Team Up to Fund 61 Community Projects

From November 21st – December 31st, 108 restaurants participated in DineSmart raising funds $1 or $2 at a time, generously donated by diners. This was our 16th DineSmart campaign and our dedicated band of restaurateurs and their staff drove the event – chatting with customers and advocating for a world without homelessness. From all this amazing fundraising activity and generous donations we are now able to support 61 community organisations with $233,950 of funding. Seven grant recipient organisations were funded for the first time, including, The Girls Refuge, Ecumenical Coffee Brigade and Women’s Circus.

This now takes our total funds distributed to $5,642,043, supporting 612 organisations.

Our community grants are aimed at empowering smaller grassroots organisations. We help plug funding gaps, support core programs and enable them to innovate and test new ideas. In our experience smaller services are embedded in their communities, often providing the only support to people experiencing homelessness or disadvantage in that area and many work to solve difficult problems. They are on the front line and under resourced. That’s why it’s so important that we are there to support them.

Who You Supported…

We are proud that we have continued our focus of funding smaller, grassroots, community based services. The breadth of projects funded in this round of grants shows how diverse the reasons for, and circumstances of, homelessness are, and how best to respond and support people at a local level.  Two projects (Elizabeth Morgan House and The Social Studio) received matched funding through the Australian Community Foundation from Unico Community Foundations.

For example, we have supported Patrick and his team at First Step to deliver essential support to clients struggling with drug and alcohol dependence and homelessness.

“With StreetSmart funding we’ve been able to support our most vulnerable clients when they need it most, including providing 2 or 3 night’s emergency accommodation. It’s unbearable to not be seen, to not be heard, to have nowhere to go and nothing to do. StreetSmart is helping us alleviate that suffering and change lives for the better.” Patrick Lawrence, Chief Executive Officer, First Step.

For the first time we are supporting Port Anglican Soup Kitchen, in Port Macquarie.

“Like most areas we are seeing a significant increase in people needing our services and recognise that we need to ensure we can support their needs going forward. The money raised by the local DineSmart restaurants will be put towards installing commercial refrigeration. This will enable us to accept additional fresh produce that Oz Harvest and others have available to use for both meal preparation and to pass on to the most vulnerable people in our community.”   Karen Richards

“Meet Ross Mathews –
He has had a number of health and other challenges over the past few years, resulting in homelessness, when he started coming to the Soup Kitchen regularly for lunch. One of our volunteers got chatting to Ross and discovered he is a qualified chef. We had just lost our 2 volunteer chefs due to their work commitments so were pretty desperate to find a replacement. Ross stepped up and offered to help out and now organises & runs the kitchen / cooks the meals.”  Karen Richards

Also funded for the first time was Women’s Circus:

“This grant will fund the continued engagement of women who came to us from one of our community programs, allowing them to connect with women from our membership in a meaningful and potentially life changing way. The women will learn new skills through our performance mentorship program, creating pathways to employment. Thank you so much for this support.” Devon Taylor, Executive Director, Womens Circus

Here’s the breakdown for each participating State, and links to all grant recipients by state. Click on the State name to see a full listing.

VICTORIA $159,400 37
NEW SOUTH WALES $45,550 14
QUEENSLAND $11,500 6
TOTAL $223,950 61


More Words From Grant Recipients…

Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre (WAGEC) are so grateful to StreetSmart and their supporters for funding our ‘The Meeting Place’ initiative, which will help us provide a safe place for homeless women to get together once a month. They will be able to receive support, as well as talk about the issues that are important to them. Importantly, they will get to know one another, make friends, support each other and help break down social isolation. Thank you again for all your support.” Helen Silvia, CEO, WAGEC

Lou’s Place greatly appreciates the support of Streetsmart. This grant enables us to improve the operation of our Mental Health clinic by providing training to the volunteers involved. Better training for the volunteers means improved support to the homeless women we care for. We believe they deserve the very best we can be and this grant enables us to strive towards that goal. From the bottom of our hearts huge thanks so much for helping us on this journey.” Nicole Yade, Manager, Lou’s Place

BMiles Foundation works with women who are impacted by mental ill health, many of whom have experienced trauma and or family and domestic violence, and these much-needed funds will enable women to access clinical support to assist them with their recovery. Please let your supporters know their funds are going directly to those in need and making a real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable women in our society.” Kate Timmins, BMiles Foundation

“Everyone here at St Mary’s House of Welcome is so grateful for this grant from StreetSmart. It will allow us to provide practical support to complex and high needs clients who are currently housed but whose tenancies and/or health are at risk due to issues they are facing. For a person who has been homeless, sometimes finding long term accommodation, or being housed brings its own set of problems, making them vulnerable to homelessness once again. This grant will allow us help keep at-risk clients housed. Thank you for this wonderful support!” Kristine Robertson, St Mary’s House of Welcome

DineSmart Champs…

None of this would be possible without our restaurant partners and generous donors at those restaurants. To find out more about our Fundraising Champions – read this blog

And a massive thank you…

…to major supporters: Sunshine Foundation, Tripple and Bluesand Foundation, as well as our official sponsor for DineSmart 2018 UberEats and the media support of Broadsheet – and our Grants Committees in VIC, NSW and QLD – we just wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you.

Thank you all and please help us by sharing this post…

’til next time