WHAT would the poor do without the St Vincent de Paul Society!
Vinnies provides a range of services, for the aged, the housebound sick, the homeless, for prisoners going back into the community, the addicted, for families, for youth, for the needy whatever their circumstances.
Some idea of the extent of the society’s work is conveyed by the fact that in Australia each year it provides $10 million emergency food alone.
But Vincentians’ most basic service is visiting the poor in their own homes to help them: the aged, families without breadwinners, solo parents, who are a large portion of their clients, other needy people.
Now there has been a focus on another of their roles: that of advocate for the poor, who, as Vinnies points out, because of their circumstances, are not able to speak for themselves.
The society has issued reports on homelessness and on poverty, highlighting the growing divide between the rich and the poor.
Like a conscience for the nation, it has indicated the causes and extent of these related issues. It has also suggested remedies.
The society is not being political, as its national president John Moore said last Monday, but is simply fulfilling its advocacy role.
Now it is up to legislators and the community generally to act.