For a number of years, welfare policies across the OECD countries have been framed in terms of mutual obligation and individual responsibility. Welfare recipients can become subject to significant monetary sanctions. Coupled with the tightening of criteria to access some benefits and residual payments, this leads to a heavy demand for the emergency relief that the government contracts FBOs to deliver. A number of politicians in Australia have claimed that FBOs religious guidance enable welfare recipients to become responsible citizens. This study of FBOs in the Hunter Region of NSW demonstrates that (i) people of faith are heavily motivated by their religious beliefs leading to compassionate help even in the face of limited resources; and (ii) Hunter FBOs meet clients‟ immediate need irrespective of socio-economic situation, or behaviours. It also indicates that the harsh welfare policy climate may lead to a clash of cultures in regard to the needs of the poor.