For more than 160 years, with community support, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney has stayed true to the mission of our founding Sisters of Charity, who dedicated themselves to helping those that need care, especially the poor and the vulnerable.

The Hope Healing and Humanity fund ensures that everyone who walks through the doors of St Vincent’s Hospital, will be treated with the same care and compassion. Regardless of wealth, nationality or religion.

Joe’s story demonstrates our commitment to our mission of healing, hope and humanity, and how this compassion can turn lives around. It’s the “St Vincent’s Way”.

How healing, hope and a little bit of music turned Joe’s life around

Many years ago, 14-year-old Joe was forced to leave his twin sister and move from New Zealand to Australia to live with his mother. His new environment was simply unsuitable for a child. It led to anxiety, homelessness, addiction and crime.

Reflecting on the challenges life had thrown at him, Joe recalled living rough for as long as he could remember “in parks, dry river-beds, anything for a moment’s comfort. Western Australia to Darwin to Alice Springs, to Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, then Kings Cross”.

He remembers living with constant anxiety, “I thought I was an illegal immigrant and changed my name five times to avoid detection. Drugs and alcohol became my relief and support, along with the connections I made with others sleeping rough, illegal immigrants, those suffering psychosis. All of us [were] lost.”

It wasn’t until he attempted to end his life near St James Station that he found the support he needed. He was found by two police officers who drove Joe straight to Caritas House at St Vincent’s Hospital.

Turning Lives Around

Sometime after, a social worker from St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney came to find Joe in Hyde Park one night, after his long day at work. They chatted, and Joe was convinced to try a rehab program to address his addiction. Joe recalls thinking “What did I have to lose?”. The professional support Joe received from St Vincent’s has helped him to remain sober for more than 9 years.

With the team at St Vincent’s Hospital behind him, Joe got the care he needed, when he needed it the most.

“I have been able to attend TAFE courses in musicianship, not only making friends with other musos but also helping to find in me a passion for music and to entertain. Following further study, I can now play more than 3,000 songs, from rock, soul, blues, 80s, 90s, almost anything. I work in duos and trios for functions and weddings and not that long ago I lodged my first tax return.”

St Vincent’s prides itself on helping those in need, always going one step further to save lives and provide compassionate care.

The ‘St Vincent’s Way’

Our team of social work, mental health, homeless health and addiction clinicians meet people like Joe every day.

You can make a donation to support our Healing, Hope and Humanity Fund, which helps St Vincent’s to support patients like Joe when they need it the most.


Donate now