Inala Family Support Centre celebrates 20 years of supporting the community
If walls could talk, the Inala Family Support Centre would have plenty of stories to tell – many of them heartbreaking, but many worth celebrating.
The Centre recently commemorated 20 years of providing support to the Inala community; celebrating two special decades of Members working through the Centre, doing whatever they can to help locals in need.
Inala Conference (St Mary of the Cross) President Monica Tupicoff said in those 20 years, the Conference Members have provided more than $2.75 million in support in response to 52,524 calls for help.
“The Centre has been a beacon of hope for Inala residents in troubled times,” Monica said.
“The house was bought for just $57,000 20 years ago – some of us would have memories of walking around the Centre, water pooling around our feet during floods!
“We’ve had extensive renovations since then, one of the most important additions being a food pantry that has allowed us to store food and supplies to distribute to Companions.”
Centre Coordinator Liza Dykstra has been with the Centre for 18 of those 20 years, starting as a Volunteer before becoming more and more involved over time.
“The fondest memories I have are people we have supported coming back and thanking us – some even say we saved their lives,” she said.
“It’s such a nice feeling to see you have made a positive difference.”
Liza said despite the rewards, the work was certainly challenging, as locals continue to battle poverty and homelessness.
“Since COVID-19 and the housing crisis, we have seen more and more people needing help with rent,” she said.
“Most of the people we see live in poverty and the number of people coming to us who are homeless has been growing.
“While we have been part of the Inala community for so long, we are getting better and better at working as a team and collaborating with local organisations to provide better support to our Companions.”
The Centre celebrated their 20-year anniversary with a recent gathering of Conference Members and representatives from the local community.
“When I look back on the last 20 years on how we have improved the premises and made a difference to so many – I am very proud of everything we have accomplished at the Centre,” Liza said.