Support and Respite

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Cana Communities provides support and respite for those in need or at-risk by providing short to middle term accommodation. 

Western Australia

In 2016 Cana Communities expanded and introduced its relational model to WA by establishing a welcoming place, a community and an offering of hospitality to those most in need.

We offer a sense of belonging and foster relationships with many who are experiencing poverty and hopelessness. We value forgiveness and acceptance and provide a safe environment and opportunity to recreate oneself.

We have two homespaces: 

  • Emmaus House, our community hub in Fremantle; and 
  • Anstead, our transitional home for women in Mosman Park.

We host community lunches for those seeking connection and companionship:

  • Mondays at St Luke’s Community Garden in Mosman Park, 11.45am - 1.30pm
  • Wednesdays at Emmaus House in Fremantle 11.45am - 1.30pm

Anstead is the most recent of Cana’s homes and offers supported accommodation for up to four women who want to bring about change in their lives. Women come to us from jail, other institutions, the streets, are fleeing domestic violence or seeking asylum.

We always need volunteers and companions to support house residents and community members, particularly for our scheduled weekly lunches and Thursday night house dinners. Whether it's coming along to prepare and share a meal, help maintain the gardens, assist with getting community members to medical appointments, or just spending time together, we have many individuals who are in need of a friend to listen and simply be there for them.

Leader: Tor Taranto
Contact details: tor.taranto@cana.org.au
Facebook: Perth Cana Communities

Volunteers in WA are currently needed for:

  • Meal preparation and sharing at:
    • Monday and Wednesday Community lunches - 11.30am - 2pm 
    • Thursday night dinners for Anstead residents - 5.45pm - 7.30pm 
  • Companioning - spending time during the day with residents and community developing relationships, sharing a coffee and a story, or helping with day to day appointments and form filling.
  • Maintenance of our garden and chickens.
  • Picnics, outings and excursions.

More specific details on each of the volunteer opportunities is available by contacting Cana WA via the website, facebook or directly to the WA Leader.


Nagle House, Sydney

What is Nagle House? 

Nagle House offers transitional accommodation for women who are in need, as they are at risk of becoming or are currently homeless. We work to provide each woman with personalised care and understanding, knowing that each individual faces different challenges as they move from one phase of life to the next. These women are all a part of the continually developing Nagle House story. Wherever their journey takes them after Nagle House, the women are still encouraged to visit and take part in House activities. 

Every resident at Nagle House, including all past residents, forms a very important part of the Cana Community. 

History of Nagle House

Nagle House is named after Nano Nagle and works to continue her legacy. Nano Nagle lived in Ireland in the 1700s, and founded the Presentation Sisters. Her life was dedicated to providing education to the poor, particularly women, and providing comfort to the needy. She was known as the "the Lady with the Lantern", as she walked the street at night with her lantern visiting the sick and poor. In 2013, Pope Francis declared Nano Venerable, a fitting honour to bestow on someone who sacrificed a life of comfort and privilege in order to help those in need. 

Nagle House was opened in July 2012, in its original location of Darlinghurst. In 2014, the house was moved to Redfern, where we currently work together to create an accepting and supportive community for women. 

Where do we get our referrals for new Nagle House residents?

Referrals come from a number of important organisations: 

  • the Women’s Justice Network; 
  • parole officers for inmates who are due to leave jail;
  • short term refuges;
  • homeless services;
  • mental health services;
  • The Red Cross, for women who have been victims of trafficking; and 
  • directly via the Cana Communities website.

Who are we?

The Leadership Team at Nagle House consists of a group of volunteers passionate about supporting women in need. We are always open to new volunteers and are constantly working to develop the Nagle House story. 

Interested in volunteering with Nagle House?

Various volunteering opportunities exist for those interested, depending on whether we have positions open and your time availability. 

Some examples of roles and responsibilities you can undertake as a volunteer include: 

  • Preparing and sharing a meal with the residents. 
    • We need volunteers for both Thursday lunches (11:00am  - 2:00pm), and Monday and Wednesday night dinners (6pm - 8.30pm).
  • Accompanying a resident to an appointment.
    • This can include appointments with Centrelink, court appearances, medical appointments or those with the Housing Department. Residents often find these appointments daunting, and accompanying them can be crucial to ensuring that they attend and feel supported.
  • Assisting in finding and applying for TAFE or Community courses, and providing ongoing support and encouragement.
  • Meeting one resident once per week for a social activity, such as a coffee and a walk.
  • Accompanying a resident to Cana Farm.

We would also love to hear from volunteers who have skills they can share with the residents. We run regular skills sessions with Nagle House residents in order to equip them with life skills, develop coping mechanisms, or provide them with new passions. These skills sessions can include a range of areas, such as yoga, meditation, nutrition, knitting, financial budgeting and more. 

If you are interested in Volunteering at Nagle House please contact us at info@cana.com.au or via the website. Cana holds regular information sessions for anyone who would like to find out more about volunteering at Cana. Cana also provides ongoing support and training to ensure volunteers know what they are doing and are comfortable in their role. 

We look forward to hearing from you.


De Porres House, Sydney

De Porres House and St Francis House are located in Darlinghurst, and both offer transitional and long-term accommodation for those most in need or at-risk.  Cana Communities has its origins as De Porres House in 1975. In a spirit of home and hospitality, the Houses offer a place for prayer and a quiet space to nurture our spirits. 

We accept resident referrals from the following sources :

  • Inmates about to leave gaol and referred from either Fr Peter Carroll or Julie Sneddon.
  • The homeless seeking accommodation, and usually arriving from the Garden Shelter following referral via Regina Madden.
  • Asylum seekers without accommodation or Government financial support.

Our residents are supported by a large team of volunteers who provide meals, community activities and companionship during the day, and reassurance to residents through their presence overnight. In addition to the resident communities of both Houses, a living space is provided for people from our shelters, to give them a short break from the streets and support for their next steps. 

Some examples of the way our volunteers are always on hand to ensure our residents and community members benefit from belonging to a community are:

  • Monday picnics in Green Park Darlinghurst where we share sandwiches with the Park regulars.
  • Tuesday evening family dinners with residents of both Houses.
  • Wednesday lunches, which welcome visitors.
  • Thursday evening open-house night for a large group of visitors to join residents and volunteers for an evening meal followed by Mass, which is celebrated at the dinner table. Great credit goes to to the network of priests who are regularly called upon to participate and provide spiritual guidance to those present during the dinner and Mass.
  • Other volunteer groups regularly cater for evening meals while our team of overnight volunteers continue to provide company and reassurance to our residents.
  • Social activities are regularly organised outside the home for residents and community members.

As always, more volunteers are needed to take part in the above programmes.

Leader: Terry and Tricia Cassidy

Contact details: info@cana.com.au