The Power of Friendship is a collection of remarkable stories of transformation – lives changed as a result of the unconditional offer of friendship to people who were disengaged and dispirited. The book begins with a collection of stories from the 46 years of Open House history.
The book is an invitation to its readers to extend friendship beyond their normal orbit – beyond the circle of individuals they find immediately attractive. Friendship, something most of us enjoy and take for granted, is not universally experienced. An alarming proportion of our population lives with isolation and loneliness. The Power of Friendship illustrates the surprise factor when unequal relationships become mutual friendships – when people who may have imagined themselves as helpers or benefactors realise they are also ‘the helped’ and the receivers of benefits.
Professional helpers will be drawn to the conversation provoked by this book. Are there serious gaps in the way we provide services? Are there ways of doing things differently? Can the special stories of Open House be reproduced more broadly? How can these precious insights find wider expression across the range of community service professions? This book sheds much light on such questions.
“Over the years other models of community and mission have come and gone. No others I am aware of have lasted the test of time or ridden the waves of change. So this story is truly unique and deserves to be told and celebrated”. – Tim Costello, World Vision Australia