Berkeley is a suburb south of Wollongong that needs Jesus. It has a reputation for being a tough place to live. Many of the facts below contribute to how the suburb got its bad name, a name that the Berkeley Life Centre is trying to change, under God, one person at a time.
· 73% of dwellings in Berkeley are owned by the State or Community Housing Cooperatives
· 62% of children over 15 years did not complete education above year 10
· 54% of people in Berkeley are unemployed, second and third generation unemployment is quite common
· Many people are addicted to drugs, alcohol or gambling
· A large number of people suffer from depression, low self-esteem or other mental health issues
· 24% of families in Berkeley are single parent families, almost double the national average
· The average weekly wage in Berkeley is less than $400 per week, much of it welfare payments
· Crimes statistics above state average.
Berkeley Life Centre’s Vision is – Jesus, Transforming Lives to Transform a Community. BLC has attempted to overcome the abovementioned issues/challenges by implementing many programs and initiatives such as the ones that you would expect from a Church like Prayer, Sharing the Gospel, Regular Church services including Sunday School/Kids Church, Several Growth/Bible Study Groups, School Scripture and Pastoral Care as well as many other unique ideas like the Second Chance Op Shop, Adopt a Block, COACH Mentoring, Anglicare Food Truck, Free Bread and intends to introduce a SHINE Women program in the short term future.
Our COACH Program is a long-term mentoring program. Volunteer mentors from the wider community are trained to support disadvantaged families by partnering with parents to achieve achievable goals, improve parenting skills and build functionality to create a brighter, more positive future for themselves. Mentors offer support to address issues such as, family relationships, managing budgets, managing health issues, parenting difficulties, finding work, isolation, home management through formalised goal setting. The aim of COACH is to mobilise people to make a positive and significant difference in the lives of families in need so that cycles of generational poverty and family dysfunction can be broken. You can hear more about the COACH program on BLC's website or a watch a video here.
Other programs run by BLC support Year 12 students, single mothers and people dealing with mental health issues. BLC’s programs also aim to help people develop longer term plans for their lives and reduce addiction, unemployment and poverty in the area.
All donations are tax deductible.
ABN 28 525 237 517