After working at the Matthew Talbot Hostel in Kings Cross, Sydney Al moved to Perth where he worked at St Bartholemew’s Crisis Centre. Here he met and befriended so many people battling mental health issues. Many people were reaching out for help but there were never enough beds to go around. These people shared their collective experiences of homelessness, addiction, suffering, violence, of feeling alone and being lonely. They inspired Al to do something.
Over a number of years, Al fulfilled his vision of creating stable and secure long-term accommodation for adults with mental health issues – where people could live independently, with support and assistance, while sharing the same journey.
In 2000, Al sold a property that he personally owned and from the proceeds, bought a modest house in Queens Park, Western Australia (about 12kms south east of Perth). Over 20 years, this has grown to incorporate 12 surrounding houses where fences were taken down and a wonderful and unique community was established !
Emmaus Community provides a real home environment for all who live and visit here – including family and friends of our resident Community Members. We provide weekly lunches for those who want to share and participate as well as regular community events throughout the year. Living at Emmaus Community is just like being part of one big family !
Emmaus Community is generously supported by the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth and the Micah Foundation who have helped us purchase housing and land. We are especially grateful to Emeritus Archbishop Barry James Hickey, the current Archbishop of Perth His Grace Most Rev. Timothy Costelloe SDB, Greg Russo, Terry Wilson, Julie Fuge and all at the Catholic Archdiocese Office in Perth. We acknowledge the support, love and generosity they continue to give which has been integral to the establishment and growth of Emmaus Community.
ABC Compass aired a documentary about Emmaus Community called “A Place to Call Home” in April this year which will screen again in November. The documentary tells the story of Al’s transformational journey from the entertainment business in Los Angeles to his journey in creating Emmaus Community.