The St Vincent de Paul Society in WA is seeing more and more people falling into poverty and with an ever increasing demand for its services, it has recognised a need to undergo some major changes moving forward.

St Vincent de Paul Society CEO Mark Fitzpatrick said that in 2014 alone the Society delivered material assistance to 38,243 people in WA, and provided $8.35 million in direct support to people in the WA community.

“Over the past five years, Vinnies has contributed $81.5 million to help people in the community who are doing it tough, and over that period there has been a 17% increase.

“Alarmingly, we forecast that demand for our services will increase by an incredible 50% in the next decade,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“It is with this in mind, that the Society is in the process of preparing to build and relocate to a new site in Canning Vale that will include the Ozanam House administration office (currently located in Belmont), its Depot (currently located in Osborne Park) and a new Vinnies shop on site.

“Our 25 year old Osborne Park depot, which is our main service delivery facility, is also reaching capacity which will limit the amount of people we can assist if we don’t move to a larger facility,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“Obviously a project of this size is not undertaken lightly and we have done extensive research, planning and due diligence to reach a decision to build in Canning Vale. 

“Importantly, a key part of this project will assist us to expand services that help address causes of disadvantage for people we serve in the community,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

To ensure that this project does not impact on the Society’s current financial situation, operations and service delivery, it is engaging with prominent, high level businesses and applying for grant funding but an important area of funding will come from the sale of the Ozanam House administration office in Belmont and the Osborne Park Depot.

“In the coming weeks we will begin advertising these two properties with the proviso of a short term lease back to the Society until our new building is ready,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

Works on the new site are expected to start in early 2016 with an expected completion date of early 2017.