Crisis refuge for women and children to be delivered in Western Sydney
A new women’s refuge is being delivered in Western Sydney to support women fleeing domestic and family violence.
On completion, this site will increase the number of available women’s crisis accommodation sites in Western Sydney to nine, with a total of 13 Specialist Homelessness Services providing supports to women and children in the region.
Supported through $5.68 million in capital funding grants, the site will comprise of 11 units and is expected to come online around November.
It is being developed by community housing provider – Evolve Housing with support service provisions delivered through Women’s Community Shelters in partnership with Parramatta Women’s Shelter.
The new refuges are being built under the Government’s $426.6 million Core and Cluster Program which will support for more than 2,900 women and their children each year.
Minister for Housing and Homelessness Rose Jackson said the NSW Government has invested more than $32.5 million to bolster support for Specialist Homelessness Services in Western Sydney.
“This funding will help deliver crucial homes for vulnerable women and children with $21.4 million dedicated specifically to Western Sydney homelessness services across the LGAs of Cumberland, Parramatta, Blacktown and the Hills Shire,” Minister Jackson said.
“Securing safe housing remains a critical hurdle to overcoming domestic violence and is a key contributor to women’s homeless in NSW.
“Delivering the refuges under the Core and Cluster model ensures victim-survivors have access to all the support services they need to get help, stay safe and plan for the future.”
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jodie Harrison said the NSW Government was proud to partner with community housing providers and frontline service providers across the state to deliver much needed crisis accommodation and support to vulnerable women and children at risk.
“The unique nature of the Core and Cluster model is that it enables a woman to leave a violent relationship or home with not only her children but any family pets as well,” Minister Harrison said.
“Many women stay in violent homes because they are afraid of what will happen to their animals if they leave. This model alleviates some of that fear and empowers women in crisis to leave and seek support.”
Evolve Housing CEO Lyall Gorman said the new site was well placed to meet the needs of women and children in crisis.
“These safe homes offer a way out to women who find themselves trapped in abusive relationships, providing them with a secure environment that not only ensures physical safety but also offers emotional support, counselling, and additional resources to assist women and their children to reshape their futures,” Mr Gorman said.
“By offering protection and a pathway to independence, these safe homes empower women to break the cycle of violence and reclaim their autonomy.”
“Once complete, the ground floor of the site will host communal areas for women to come together, as well as a private office space with ensuite and two private rooms for support delivery.”
“The facility also provides a secure and private outdoor recreation area, secure basement parking for staff and tenants, close proximity to public transport, local amenities and mainstream support services.
“The building will be retrofitted with security features such as electronic controlled entry, CCTV, and external lighting to optimise safety for occupants.
“The mix of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom self-contained lockable dwellings ensure we can meet the varying accommodation needs of women with or without children and all dwellings will have individual entrances and be fully self-contained with either a private courtyard or balcony in addition to communal and external areas for pets.”
Women’s Community Shelters CEO Annabelle Daniel OAM said specialist domestic and family violence services were a lifeline for women and children leaving abuse.
“Women’s Community Shelters is proud to be collaborating with Paramatta Women’s Shelter, with their committed volunteer Board, deep local knowledge and strong connections in the area, and our wonderful long-standing partner, Evolve Housing.
“Together, we will deliver exceptional support. We are committed to pursuing innovative opportunities to continuously evolve our service delivery model which is informed by the lived expertise of our clients,” Ms Daniel said.
“This partnership represents true collaboration between the NSW Government, the domestic violence and housing sectors, amazing local communities and philanthropy.”