With an organisation established, the quest was now to centralise work and give the public a place to go for support.
From obtaining halls to amalgamating with other charities, MCM set about getting a physical presence throughout the city. With MCM now established, it was important to centralise work and have a physical presence in the community.
In time, halls were established in North Melbourne, Richmond, Collingwood, Port Melbourne and later in Brunswick.
Obtaining halls made it easier for MCM to offer more extensive assistance. Donors could now drop off gifts or monetary donations.
Most importantly, the public now had a central place to go in order to receive the support they needed.
The year 1900 also saw the first publication of Melbourne City Mission Record.
The Record was a monthly paper that aimed to inform subscribers of the great work the Mission was doing.
It was also an effective way to draw donations of time and money from the public to continue helping those who needed it.
The paper included a selection of stories, poetry, religious discourses and often heart-rending stories by the missionaries of their work with distressed people.
MCM was quickly building strong foundations throughout the city to carry out work. This was made possible by donations as well as amalgamations with other charities which could no longer maintain their management. Just some of these charities include:
A major purchase for MCM was land just off Little Lonsdale Street using donations from the public and a grant from the Charities Board of Victoria.
Here, we established the Hostel for Hungry, Homeless Men. Opening in June of 1937, the hostel offered:
Sharing MCM’s passion for helping those who need it most was Sister Hartnett, one of the first female missionaries hired by the organisation.
She discussed the limited space in homes for young women looking for support. She proposed a solution — a maternity home that would take young mothers with newborns.
Mrs Watson, one of Miss Hartnett’s dedicated supporters, funded Sister Hartnett’s Maternity Home though her Auxiliary Committee. The home was opened in 1900 and increasing need quickly saw two adjoining houses being leased in Miss Hartnett’s name.
Harnett House is still around to this day and provides long day care and kindergarten programs to local families.