Award winning program helping domestic violence victims at risk

An award-winning program that prevents homelessness among women and children fleeing domestic violence is at risk of ceasing unless funding can be secured in the next three months.

Safe as Houses provides integrated and holistic legal and support services to untangle the complex issues experienced by women and children affected by family and domestic violence.

The program, managed by Tenancy WA in collaboration with Women’s Law Centre and Street Law Centre WA, has helped 110 women, with 159 children between them. Of these, 70 women received intensive case management that helped them remain in secure housing.

“Thank you for your incredible kindness and the detailed information and advice you gave to support and protect me. You are like a ray of sunshine felt on my cloudy days!” said one satisfied client.

Safe as Houses was recently recognised in the Attorney General’s Community Service Awards for "providing specialist legal advice, representation and education to a group who are at greater risk of homelessness than others in the community.” said Attorney General John Quigley.

However, funding for the program runs out in September, despite demand for community legal services on domestic violence issues being on the rise in WA.

The community services sector is working together to support Safe as Houses, in recognition that it fills a critical gap in existing services and has been effective in preventing homelessness among already vulnerable people.

“Safe as Houses does essential work to ensure women and children do not fall into homelessness,” Michelle Mackenzie, Shelter WA CEO said.

“39.8% of all homelessness in WA is due to family and domestic violence, so preventative programs like Safe as Houses are incredibly valuable as they reduce the demand on already stretched crisis care services.”

“Safe as Houses provides a strong social return on investment that benefits the WA community for many years to come,” said Carmen Acosta, Tenancy WA Executive Manager.

“Initial funding arrangements via the Criminal Property Confiscation Grants program and Lotterywest, coupled with substantial in-kind support helped Safe as Houses get going. We are now seeking corporate, business and community sector partners to be able to continue this work,” Ms Acosta concluded.

Donations to Safe as Houses are fully tax deductable.
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Media Contact: Rachel Pemberton 0408 988 977