A homewares shop to give the homeless a new start

May 3, 2018 by Rachel Phillips
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Sydney’s Jewish House has launched a homewares and goods shop for ex-clients and homeless people.

Rabbi Mendel Kastel with John Rector’s family

CEO, Rabbi Mendel Kastel said at the opening of the ‘Home Start’ shop: “Here at Jewish House we’ve been providing shelter for the homeless for 35 years. Our team advocate through a variety of networks to secure permanent or more stable accommodation for our clients, and when we secure a safe and stable house or unit it’s a huge success. But it’s the next step that we often take for granted – how to make that house a home. Thanks to an incredibly kind bequest donation from the late John Rector, we were able to bring to life a concept long in the making – to create the ‘Home Start’ shop- where our clients could choose, free of charge, pots, pans, homewares, linen, towels – to establish their very own home again.”

Rabbi Kastel added “The Home Start shop helps us restore dignity back to our clients who have lost everything – including their homes – due to circumstances ranging from domestic violence, loss of employment, mental health…the list goes on, and the need grows”.

The late Mr John Rector’s family were in attendance at last night’s launch of the store and unveiling of a plaque in honour of John and his philanthropic donation. Son David said “John’s donation to Jewish House represents a recognition that where possible, human beings must look after one another,and he would be delighted to see ‘Home Start’ and how his bequest has been realised.”

Thanks to the kind donation of goods from a variety of local businesses, the Home Start shop is now open and helping clients set up new homes for Jewish House clients.


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