Anglicare NSW South, NSW West & ACT (Anglicare) has been awarded $5.2 million by the Australian Government as part of the Safe Places Emergency Accommodation program assisting victims of domestic violence in regional NSW.
Anglicare CEO, Jeremy Halcrow said the grant would allow them to increase emergency accommodation and provide women and children somewhere safe to escape violence.
“This grant will help Anglicare enhance our current homelessness and housing supports in Goulburn and expand our service in Yass with the building of new emergency accommodation units,” Mr Halcrow said. “Last year alone over 600 people were assisted through our service in Goulburn and around 200 in Yass. More families approach us each year for help.”
“Our emergency accommodation units in Goulburn were first established in the 1970s and will be significantly renovated. Being able to offer such havens for people leaving traumatic environments will help them to heal and move forward with their lives,” he said.
Anglicare will work with the rest of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn in developing church land for the expansion and enhancement of these services. The Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Mark Short said, “We’re incredibly grateful to receive this funding as it will make a huge difference to vulnerable families in regional areas. The well-being of women and children is central to our Diocesan mission and I look forward to Anglicare and local Parishes sharing in this new initiative.”
Minister for Families and Social Services and co-chair of Women’s Safety Ministers, Anne Ruston, said the grants will help women and children experiencing domestic violence to find a safe and secure place to stay.
“It is an important investment to create real and lasting change to reduce violence against women,” said Minister Ruston.
Member for Hume, Angus Taylor said he is keen to see the how the funds will be used in the local area.
“When women make the decision to leave it is vital that they have somewhere safe to go, particularly in regional areas like Goulburn,” Mr Taylor said.
“Anglicare will assist 156 women and children locally each year as a result of our investment.”
The $60 million Safe Places Emergency Accommodation program is part of the $78 million funding package which includes $18 million to continue the Keeping Women Safe in their Homes initiative. This funding forms part of the $340 million Australian Government investment in the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022.
Anglicare’s Regional Manager for Housing and Social Services, Toni Reay, says the funding is a relief for clients, as well as providers such as Anglicare who have been experiencing significantly increased need in recent times. “We’re so grateful for this support. Our teams work day in and day out with families experiencing significant levels of emotional and financial stress, so we know firsthand that this funding will meet a real need in the Goulburn and Yass communities,” says Ms Reay.
For more information about Anglicare’s Homelessness and Housing services, visit www.anglicare.com.au or call (02) 6245 7100 for more information.