Loss of Crisis Funding for Women
The Marshall Liberal Government has cut funding to Catherine House, a vital organisation that offers crisis, longer term accommodation and support services for women experiencing homelessness.
For over 30 years Catherine House has provided crisis accommodation and longer-term support services for women experiencing homelessness in South Australia. It is the only specialist homelessness and recovery service for women in the State.
Catherine House was extremely disappointed to be advised of the State Government’s decision, through the Alliance tender process, to cease its National Housing and Homelessness Agreement (NHHA) funding arrangement. Catherine House has been an integral part of the Adelaide CBD for more than 3 decades.
Catherine House is urgently seeking further information regarding the Government’s decision to award the funding to another consortium and calls on Government to ensure that there are alternative accommodation and support services in place for women to transition into when funding for the Catherine House program ceases.
Manager of Client Services, Deirdre Flynn said,
“The decision announced by Minister Lensink will have a very significant impact on our capacity to deliver our services. It effectively erases a third ($1.2m) of our current operating budget.
“If ever there was a time for our organisation to live up to our values and demonstrate the resilience, compassion and tenacity that has always been our hallmark – characteristics we see every day in the women we support – that time is now.
“Our clients have already suffered significantly in their lives and we exist to support them. Their best interests are and will remain at the heart of everything we do.”
Women now represent 44% of all people experiencing homelessness and women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing homelessness cohort.
NHHA part funds the Catherine House Crisis Accommodation Program that supports hundreds of women each year at risk of or experiencing homelessness across South Australia. These women often present with histories of domestic and family violence, mental health issues and poverty, as well as facing a critical lack of safe and affordable housing.
Catherine House can accommodate up to 59 women at any time and further supports hundreds of women through its Women’s Centre and outreach services.
Recently, Catherine House joined with leading national community housing provider, Housing Choices South Australia to do more together for South Australian women in need of long term, safe and secure housing.
General Manager of Housing Choices South Australia, Julie Duncan said,
“Catherine House is one of the most highly regarded providers of specialist services for women experiencing homelessness in Australia. We will stand by the women who rely on this support every step of the way, as we work through this significant change to the provision of homelessness services in South Australia.”
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