Our Story

Our Beginnings

Jem is a grassroots organisation committed to social justice and empowering quieter voices in our local and global community.

We began in the 90’s through a need to support at-risk young people and their families in the local community. asher03Since then, Jem has been involved in many creative and holistic projects in Melbourne with the aim to increase community-led safe spaces and initiatives for those who are experiencing housing instability and disadvantage. Such projects over the years have included:

The Jem House: A drop in centre, creative hub and safe accommodation for young people in at-risk and vulnerable situations.

Asher Housing: Supported accommodation for specifically young women and children experiencing homelessness, family violence, neglect or trauma.

Jarrah house: An alternative education program for disengaged youth from mainstream school.

The Internship Program: An immersive, hands on experiential learning and leadership program for young people wanting to explore youth work and community development.

The Croydon House: Accommodation and support for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.

Over the years we also developed programs led by our young people to expand the support of the above projects including: Cross-cultural leadership trips, Holistic arts programs, Community events and job training through our administration hub.

We also partner with and support grassroots, community-led projects in Thailand, Uganda and in Indigenous Australia where we engage our young people in the advocacy and fundraising of projects.


Changing Tide

Jem is currently in a period of transition but will continue to operate out of the same values, to advocate for the marginalised both here in our local community and also abroad. We will continue to empower those experiencing homelessness, instability, injustice and inequality. How we do these things will change, but the heart of Jem will remain the same.

We will continue to support our amazing Global Link partners who tirelessly work for the rights of children facing extreme disadvantage, such as Father’s Divine Love Ministry in Uganda, Zoe’s Hope in Zambia and Help Save the Kids on the Thai/Burma border and our 'Asher Homes' project is transitioning to an equiping model, where we aim to be a catalyst for Australians to open up their homes and hearts to the migrant community and those suffering family violence and homelessness.

We will also be sharing stories, of heroes in our local community, who have experienced disadvantage yet are reaching out beyond themselves, despite hard circumstances, to work towards a more caring community. Alongside such stories, we will be offering small seed funding and grants, particularly for those who have themselves faced homelessness.

We ask that you would continue to partner with us through this next season. In some ways it is a rebirth of Jem and we would appreciate your prayers, your input and your support to see Jem grow in the ways we are meant to, not too quickly, not too slowly, but everything in the right pace and for the right time.


How is Jem Funded?

Jem is a registered Australian charity and has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. We are largely funded through the generosity of individual donors and do not receive any government funding.