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Catherine Booth House in Darwin

Catherine Booth House in Darwin

According to Homelessness Australia, family violence is the main reason women and children become homeless in Australia. In the last year 200 women found safe refuge at Catherine Booth House in Darwin, a place for women escaping a violent situation. A stay ranges from one crisis night through to 13 weeks. 

Each woman is matched with a Salvos caseworker who walks alongside them, helping with access to legal services and financial assistance, and development of a housing plan.

Hands-on and social activities are encouraged, and craft, jewellery making, sewing and painting classes are part of the daily routine. Many women also participate in group counselling sessions and weekly dinners with a Salvos chaplain. Life skills classes on topics like cooking and budgeting are offered, and are especially aimed at Indigenous women to increase their chances of securing a placein permanent public housing (last year 60% of the women at the refuge were Indigenous).

The women are encouraged to move forward in their lives — and we help them develop skills to do this. Many of these women are experiencing what it’s like to maintain permanent housing without a partner for the first time in their life.

In the last year two women staying at Catherine Booth House went on to start courses in psychology and law at the local university.