Rosies Oblate Youth Mission is a not-for-profit organisation that provides friendship to society’s most vulnerable. Rosies has had a physical presence on Flinders Street since 1990.
Rosies has a ministry of being "Friends On The Street." Each Wednesday and Friday night a team of up to twelve 18-30 year old volunteers operate a coffee van offering friendship and hospitality through the simple gesture of a free hot or cold drink.
Rosies volunteers are not social workers and we are not an accommodation agency. We provide a comfortable and safe environment on Flinders Street, in which to belong, especially for those who appear to be homeless or lonely. Rosies is open to all who seek a friendly community.
Rosies volunteers develop friendships by having a listening ear. One of the many frustrations for the homeless is not only finding food and shelter, but also finding someone to listen to their story and to be their "Friend On The Street".
Rosies Oblate Youth Mission was founded by Fr Tom Shortall OMI (an Oblate priest) in Rosebud (thus, the name Rosies) on the Mornington Peninsula, in the summer of 1974/75. It began as a drop in centre for young people who were holidaying with their families. The centre was a place of fun and friendship and helped keep the young people off the streets and out of trouble.
Inspired by the actions of the Oblates, a group of young people decided to assist in this form of outreach. During the late 1980's a group of young people saw the most vulnerable group of society, the homeless, where located closer to their own homes in the city of Melbourne. They decided to act with the Charism of St Eugene de Mazenod (the founder of the Oblates) and in 1990 took the Rosies van to Flinders Street Station, and so began Rosies as it is today.
Rosies is a youth mission which is kept alive by a strong and faithful community of volunteers. These 18-30 year old volunteers, give of their time once or twice a month to be "friends on the street".
Our definition of homelessness, that it is an emotional condition requiring a human response (as opposed to houselessness, which requires the provision of shelter and other physical necessities) is what makes Rosies such a unique organisation.