Hundreds take part in Walk of Witness in solidarity of those experiencing homelessness

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Media and Communications Office  
Bishop Mark Edwards today led over 400 people through Melbourne’s CBD for The Walk of Witness before officially launching the 2018-19 Social Justice Statement, a Place to Call Home. 

The 1.5km journey was a display of solidarity as Melbourne’s Church represented people experiencing homelessness and those for whom secure housing has yet to become a reality.

The overwhelming majority of those joining Bishop Edwards were students from across the Archdiocese’s schools.

The Walk of Witness began at Federation Square and following the reading of the Parable of The Good Samaritan, proceeded towards the Steps of the Victorian Parliament before concluding at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Before the group’s departure from Federation Square, Bishop Edwards told Melbourne Catholic the event presented a unique opportunity for the young people in attendance to reflect on the issue of homelessness.

‘A million Australians are either homeless, couch-surfing or in apartments that are overcrowded, people who have housing stress. That’s 1 in 25 of us and it’s just wrong,’ he said.

‘Our brothers and sisters deserve to be able to have a place to sleep and we need that for our dignity.’

The penultimate stop on the walk through one of the world’s most liveable cities was Parliament Steps where students met with The Hon. Martin Foley MP, Minister for Housing, as well as Ms Georgie Crozier MLC, Shadow Minister for Housing.

Mr Foley called on Melbournians to act with greater compassion for those on the margins and stated he believes homelessness could be stopped.

‘So many tens of thousands of people either rough sleeping or homeless every night is a stain on our collective conscience. We are capable of ending homelessness and we should be aiming to do that,’ he said.

Thanking the hundreds of school children in attendance, Ms Crozier followed her fellow MP.

‘We understand that is a big issue for our community,’ she said. ‘Your work and your presence is very important for all of our community and we must do what we can as governments to assist those who have fallen on hard times and find themselves in this situation.’

Once beneath the towering spires of St Patrick’s, Bishop Edwards officially launched the Social Justice Statement for the Archdiocese of Melbourne, remarking that it was a shared responsibility to care for ‘our brothers and sisters’.

To read the full statement, click here.

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