Department of Family and Community Services

New support service for homeless women

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04 Apr 2018

A new women’s shelter in Sydney’s west will provide support for women escaping domestic violence as they begin to rebuild their lives, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward said.

Ms Goward visited the new Women’s Community Shelters facility ‘The Haven’ in Penrith today with Minister for Western Sydney and Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres and said it would offer much-needed support for women experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The NSW Government has committed $2.8 million over two years to develop the Women’s Community Shelters model, which works with government, the community and the philanthropic and corporate sectors to establish and operate shelters in Sydney and regional NSW.

Today’s opening of The Haven takes the number of NSW Government funded refuges - either wholly or in part - to 82, up from 76 in 2014.

“We know that domestic and family violence is a leading cause of homelessness among women and children, and that specialist assistance is needed to help them rebuild their lives,” Ms Goward said.

“We are also continuing to increase the capacity of refuges in regional areas through building additional units on existing sites, which enables women and their children to still be closely supported by the specialist service while also providing a stronger sense of privacy and greater sense of independence.”

“The Haven will provide a critical service to women and their children who need crisis housing, and it is the result of a lot of hard work on the part of Women's Community Shelters and the Penrith community,” Mr Ayres said.

Women’s Community Shelters provide short-term emergency accommodation in a safe environment, which includes access to counselling, health care, legal assistance, further education and employment opportunities.

“The Haven would not have been possible without the significant support of the NSW Government, philanthropy and community working together, and we could not be happier with the results,” CEO Annabelle Daniel said.