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. 

Emmaus House, Perth

In the last months of 2016, Cana Communities expanded and introduced its companioning model to Perth after 40 years in Sydney helping hundreds of vulnerable people.  
We are building relationships and community with people who are lonely, homeless, leaving prison, suffering from addiction and or mental ill health.

Emmaus House, located in Fremantle, is the newest of Cana’s homes.  We are currently in the process of cleaning, painting and creating a space where people can feel they belong.   With the generous support of our community we have nearly furnished our home and created a lovely hub and home space.  When complete; we shall be able to accommodate up to 4 people and host a number of activities for our wider community.


Establishing a home space where we can build relationships with all walks of life, setting up welcoming places for companionship and friendship.  Building community through Cana’s supported accommodation and Cana’s unique spirituality where celebration of people and celebration of special occasions is alive.  Offering a sense of belonging, being a family together, we value forgiveness and acceptance and provide a safe place to make mistakes and opportunities to reinvent oneself.

Current needs:

Call for volunteers.  

We are now at the stage of needing more volunteers and companions who can be involved in a number of ways in a variety of roles.  Time commitment and frequency can vary to suit you.  Whether to come and prepare and share a meal, or attend medical appointments we have many individuals who are in need of a friend who can listen to them and simply be there for them.  Offering care and support for people in need is such a heartfelt, purposeful role, is completely flexible, easy on time management and rewarding.  You can do with a friend.

Where can you help?:
Anyway you feel you can or feel comfortable with:

  • Meal preparation and sharing
  • Picnics, outings and excursions
  • Attending Appointments
  • Sharing a coffee and a story
  • Companioning
  • Administration and Finance


Opening times

Community events are continuing to grow with weekly coffee mornings, lunches and dinners and other ad hoc activities.

Every Monday we meet in St Luke’s Church Community Garden in Mosman Park, to share lunch and stories with those in need. Through the generosity and guidance of Lizzie Davies and Rev Angela Webb we have our own garden beds and learn about God’s creation through soils, worm farming, gardening, composting - frequently harvesting freshly grown fruits, salads and vegies to add to our luncheon table.

Every Wednesday lunchtime we meet at Emmaus House in Fremantle to share a prayer, meal and good conversation with those looking for connection and friendship.  We are creating a home space where people can come and feel unjudged and feel they belong.

Alongside Mark Reidy and his community, once a week we share teas, coffees and biscuits with our friends living on the margins in Perth’s city centre.

Leader: Tor Taranto

Contact details: 

Facebook page: Perth Cana Communities

Our official opening of Emmaus House was on Thursday 30 March 2017.  A house, community blessing and spiritual reflection will be led by Sr Anne Jordan.  All welcome.


Nagle House, Sydney

A residence established in July 2012, Nagle House provides transitional accommodation for women in a supportive and save environment. To date over 50 women have called Nagel House home.

Deporres House, Sydney

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

We accept 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, after 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 time 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 have a short break from the streets along with support for their next step. 

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:

  • Our 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 are another opportunity for visitors.
  • Thursday evening which is 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.  A great credit to the network of priests who are regularly called upon to participate and provide spiritual guidance to those present during both the dinner and Mass.
  • Other volunteer groups regularly cater for evening meals while our team of overnight volunteers continue to provide 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.

Terry and Tricia Cassidy
House Leaders