Frequently Asked Questions
What is HOLY FOOLS?
HOLY FOOLS is an independent, grassroots, not-for-profit charity focusing on the Yarra Ranges offering Hope, unconditional Love, and Grace to individuals and families experiencing disadvantage, homelessness, addiction, mental illness and isolation. A catalyst for social change, HOLY FOOLS seeks to form transformative relationships fostering positive change both in the lives of individuals, as well as the broader community.
Relationships are the foundation of our community development approach.
Over the past 6 years we have always had a commitment to creating community, fostering a sense of inclusion, making much of our activities create a feel of home.
We are committed to working in partnerships, and are experienced, partnering with all levels of government, corporations, philanthropic organisations and the community sector.
HOLY FOOLS’ champions and speaks for those who have no voice, speaking out against injustice and seeking justice through avenues of social media, protests and direct action. We are independent and have no structural links with churches, institutions or governments. While we are not a Church, and independent, we are based on Christian values.
We offer unconditional love and our services to anyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.
Currently we offer 2 programs; the first, Matt’s Cafe, a free community meal that has been operating for 6 years and feeds an average of 50 people a 2 course meal every fortnight Friday night; and Street ANGELS, our outreach to the homeless and marginalised communities through direct outreach and the provision of 2 BBQ lunches each week.
Who are HOLY FOOLS members?
HOLY FOOLS is a local grassroots movement of people from every walk of life and from across the political spectrum. They’re artists and activists, faith and business leaders, students and scientists, all coming together because something can and should be done about homelessness, extreme poverty and injustice.
HOLY FOOLS members support our work by using their political clout, resources, time, money and energy to support effective programs that spur development and are making a real, measurable difference in the fight against homelessness, poverty and injustice.
Where is HOLY FOOLS located and how big is your budget?
As of January 2015, HOLY FOOLS has 1 staff member situated in our only office in Lilydale, Victoria. Our projected budget for 2015/16 is $75,000.
How is HOLY FOOLS governed?
HOLY FOOLS is governed by a 6-member Board of Directors made up of individuals with extensive experience in advocacy and activism, policy, community development, politics and business.
The Board oversees HOLY FOOLS’ work and helps to ensure HOLY FOOLS is making progress against its mission. The full Board meets bimonthly while the Board’s committees meet more regularly, and as needed. The committees include: Program, Executive and Finance, Development, Nominating and Membership, and Fundraising. HOLY FOOLS’ leadership team, under the direction of CEO Neal Taylor, guides and implements HOLY FOOLS’ strategy.
Where did you come up with the name, HOLY FOOLS?
Before HOLY FOOLS began, our CEO, Neal Taylor, was involved in several free community meals in Croydon, Victoria. Here he began volunteering, then started to find that chaplaincy for those attending was desperately needed and he began to become involved in the very complex lives of those attending the meals; including issues such as homelessness, poverty, self-harm, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and relationships. HOLY FOOLS was created as an over-arching entity to cover this work, providing an insurance entity other than a church based one.
Around this time, and just before the organisation was begun, Neal was reading “Holy Fools: Following Jesus with Reckless Abandon” by Matthew Woodley. Engrossed by what he read, Neal studied the concept of the Holy Fool further and after reading about many of the early Churches Holy Fools, felt it was an appropriate name for an organisation that was seeking to do the same as the early Church Fathers including Francis of Assisi.
Besides being catchy and confronting, the name HOLY FOOLS is one that people recall easy and epitomises the concept of Jesus’ Love in Action.