What started as Sunday community meal to help those feeling lonely over 30 years ago, Canice’s Kitchen has now transformed into a daily service providing support to men and women experiencing homelessness and social exclusion. No longer just a soup kitchen, we are a place of connection for those who have no permanent address. Somewhere for people to come together, connect and find the support they need.
Situated close to Kings Cross and nestled amongst the jacarandas our Kitchen would previously open its gates seven days a week. Our outdoor café and dining areas we would be buzzing the days stories, a shared meal and many laughs. Over 400 volunteers rostered across these days gave their energy and experience to create home cooked meals that made our little piece of Sydney feel like home.
On the 1st April, 2020 Canice’s Kitchen #everythingfromthegate was born. The homes of 200 volunteers were transformed into virtual remote kitchens, our leaders rallied team spirit via whatsapp and our onsite crew converted our entire service to be COVID safe. Ten months later we had distributed over 190,000 items food during the pandemic, supporting our community and the many more that needed us. On the 1st February this year our gates reopened, our volunteers came back onsite and we were once again the heart of the community.
We are now operating weekly health, legal and employment clinics, daily showers with access to toiletries and personal care items and brand new clothing, supplied by our partner Thread Together. We recently launched our Community Support Program, a bespoke employment training program which supports our Guests back into paid work. We have partnered with Canva, Australia’s leading tech start-up and now have relationships with an extensive network of businesses that help us provide a holistic model of support.
One of our most valuable additions has been our Street Coffee Shop. A hole in the wall addition brought to life as the answer to a COVID problem. What we thought would be a temporary solution to how we could serve coffee in a COVID safe way, has become one of the most appreciated areas of our centre. A place to grab hot cuppa, strike up a conversation, check in with each other and know that someone will always know your name. Kettle and Cup as we fondly call it serves over 300 coffees a day now!
We have never stopped looking to the future and now, even more so. We want to ensure that we empower our Guests, our community and our volunteers beyond COVID. Taking with us these experiences and growing as an community that continues to stand by one another.
Positive mental health outcomes, improved social connection and pathways out of homelessness are the central themes that we are focused on beyond 2021. We welcome your support in helping us continue to grow as the heart of the community, a place people can come for support but one that they eventually leave, stronger and ready for their own bright future.
Our Kitchen is funded be generous parishoners, local residents and businesses. If you would like to be a part of our story and see how your donation can directly change lives you can make a fully tax deductible gift here. All donations are 100% tax deductible.
This is Canice’s Kitchen, where everyone is welcome.