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Helping hand for Father Bob

10 Nov 2016

Helping hand for Father Bob Image

By Nadia Dimattina

The State Government will provide $100,000 of funding to compensate for fire damage to the Father Bob Foundation.

In August, a fire caused significant damage to the foundation’s Montague precinct warehouse, resulting in major setbacks.

The fire caused a loss of $20,000 worth of food, after it burned the wiring which runs the freezers and cool room.

Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley said the funding would assist in repairing warehouse damage allowing the foundation to keep running.

“I am sure this new warehouse will assist in their continued work in breaking the cycle of poverty and disadvantage,” Mr Foley said.

Established in 2003 by Father Bob Maguire, the foundation aims to give people a helping hand and empower others to do the same for people in their community.

Touring the foundation’s repaired warehouse on October 20, Mr Foley said the work undertaken by the foundation was vitally important to the surrounding community and the funding was important for helping it continue helping those in need.

“Father Bob has long been a fighter for the man on the street and it’s important that we get behind and support the work his foundation does in addressing homelessness,” Mr Foley said.

“The foundation, through Father Bob’s vision, works tirelessly to help those experiencing disadvantage.”

The foundation’s executive officer, Zach Wheeler, said it was grateful the government had recognised its hard work.

“This funding marks the first time the foundation has accepted government funds. We have spent significant time developing our programs and services and it is pleasing that this has now reached a point that the State Government is both noticing and supporting our work,” he said.

Mr Wheeler said the funds provided by the government would go towards programs.  

“The funds are for the continuation and expansion of our assertive outreach programs – programs which actively seek out and support vulnerable community members,” he said.

Mr Wheeler said the fire severely affected the foundation but it was fully functional again just in time for Christmas.

“With the warehouse now fully operational again we are stepping up our services again, getting ready to meet the growing demand we always see across the warmer months and Christmas period,” he said.

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