St Francis Social Services

St Francis Social Services, in its various evolutionary phases, has been operating since 1981 in the parish of St Francis of Assisi, Paddington. This evolving organisation has been a considerable part of my life and I have had the joy of seeing it grow. The Come In Centre has been operating in one form or another for some 34 years. There were the humble beginnings as a simple one-storey, two-roomed, nocturnal drop-in centre. It has grown with time and effort to be a double-storied, multi-faceted counselling and adolescent advocacy service that sits at the vanguard of best practice. The Centre has a strong affiliation with St Francis Parish, Paddington, and like the church, has developed into an icon in the Paddington and greater Sydney community. The Centre has made such a significant impact to the lives of those they served, that the Centre and all the people who have worked there over the years are regularly visited by past clients and noted as significant influences in their young lives St Francis Social Services assumed responsibility for the House of Welcome in 2010. Its membership is no longer almost exclusively Paddington Parish based. Long-term supporters of the House of Welcome have joined the Board. The House of Welcome, a refugee advocacy organisation, based in Carramar, in south-western Sydney. Opening its doors some ten-years ago, in a building owned and renovated by the Franciscan friars, who also conduct the Paddington parish, the House of Welcome has proven to be a highly adaptable, efficient organisation. It has been able to adapt and to change in a volatile sector that is regularly open to local and international pressures. The refugee sector is one that has proven, time and time again, to have the legislative consistency of a wind vane. The House of Welcome has developed into an organisation that maintains its commitment to serve asylum seekers and refugees without discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, sexuality and religion, while maintaining a necessary flexibility in their practice models. St Francis Social Services Board is pleased to help the House of Welcome continue to operate. The Board of St Francis Social Services is a mixed group of qualified and dedicated volunteers. Over the past twelve months, and a little time beyond that, we have experienced some changes to the Board, as we have moved from a Paddington Parish group. The work of St Francis Social Services would not be possible without our generous donors and funding bodies. Their generosity and trust that we will use their gifts well inspires and humbles me. Special thanks are due to the Marist Fathers and the Franciscan Friars for both important financial support and interest.


Agency Head

Ms Lyn Harrison, Chief Executive Officer


461-3 Oxford Street, Paddington, NSW, 2021, Australia


(02) 9331 2691



  • Children's Services (excluding Foster Care)
  • Community Building
  • Family and Relationships Services
  • Refugee and Asylum Seeker Services
  • Youth Services
  • Homelessness