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Evolve Housing launches Safe Foundations for women and children escaping domestic violence in Western Sydney

Download full media release here.

20 October 2017

Media release: Evolve Housing launches Safe Foundations for women and children escaping domestic violence in Western Sydney.

Evolve Housing have launched Safe Foundations which will commence with a pilot program providing medium term housing and positive social outcomes for women and children escaping domestic and/or family violence.

Safe Foundations aims to provide women and their children with an opportunity to stabilise their lives while being supported and feel safe whilst exiting from crisis accommodation; engage in employment and/or training opportunities while receiving subsidised rental accommodation; and exit into private rental marketing with a view to be living independently within three years.

Families will be connected to Evolve Housing’s support coordination unit where staff will identify support needs for each family including children. Families will also have access to all of Evolve Housing’s support programs such as kick starter packs which include household essentials such as kettles, toasters, blankets; Evoloans (no interest loans) to purchase whitegoods; and education grants worth up to $10,000 over three years.

Statistics from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research[1] show that the Local Government Areas of Blacktown and Penrith, where the pilot program will commence have the highest numbers of domestic violence incidents of anywhere in NSW.

Andrea Galloway, CEO Evolve Housing said that as a Community Housing Provider Evolve Housing recognises its responsibility to play a role in delivering social outcomes for clients as well as providing housing. Domestic and family violence is a growing and major issue in our communities so it is vital we provide safe and secure housing options for women and families to support them on their journey to greater independence.

“Each night 50,000 women experience homelessness, with domestic and family violence noted as the largest contributor for women to this issue. Safe Foundations provides subsidised medium term housing and tailored support plans in the context of a broader support system.

“In order to facilitate long lasting change for these women, we are taking an integrated approach which combines housing reassurance with training and employment opportunities. The three year program is designed to connect women to training and employment while they navigate family law issues and stabilise their lives ultimately resulting in them moving into the private rental market and living independently. 

“The high cost of housing isn’t the only issue locking these women out of the private rental market. Many struggle to find landlords willing to accept them as tenants, resulting in families who are already in a vulnerable place being locked out of the housing market even further. Without providing transitional housing support many women will be faced with the reality of homelessness and become trapped in the cycle of disadvantage,” said Ms Galloway.   

Evolve Housing has been building relationships with a number of partners to run the Safe Foundations program and utilise the resources from each organisation to maximise positive outcomes for clients.

The pilot project with Women’s Community Shelters will operate in the Penrith and Blacktown Local Government Areas and if successful will look to expand across Sydney, providing more secure housing options for women escaping domestic and family violence.

Annabelle Daniel, CEO Women's Community Shelter said, “We are delighted to be partnering with the highly innovative Evolve Housing to be delivering Safe Foundations for women and children leaving domestic and family violence. We know that moving on from crisis can take years, and that safe homes, ongoing support and social inclusion are the keys to success. We very much look forward to working together.”

Media contact:  Karee Oates | karee.oates@evolvehousing.com.au | 0435 022 660

 


[1] NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Domestic assault offences year to June 2017 http://crimetool.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/bocsar/