Wesley Mission has been providing accommodation for homeless people in Sydney from as early as 1819, when our Methodist founders established the Sydney Asylum for the Poor, which housed over 50 people.
In 1866, the Sydney Night Refuge opened for homeless men, having started as a tent in the garden of a committed Methodist.
In 1893, the Central Methodist Mission opened Waverley House in Woolloomooloo, which offered a home for 20 children off the streets. The Alexandra Rescue Home was established at Enfield in 1902, in order to house single mothers.
Further initiatives followed as Wesley Mission expanded services for a range of homeless people in the community and particularly during difficult times such as The Depression.
Opening its doors in 1979, Wesley Edward Eagar Centre was the first residential facility in Sydney to offer accommodation for both males and females with individual lockable rooms.
It bears the name of one of the founders of Methodism in Australia, Edward Eagar, a leading advocate for the emancipist cause in Australia in the early nineteenth century. A former lawyer, Eagar was instrumental in bringing about constitutional reform in New South Wales, including the validation of pardons, trial by jury, and the recognition of ex-convicts’ rights.