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Essential women's service expands

19 August 2012

Essential women's service expands

The Salvation Army’s Catherine Haven centre in Broken Hill - the only crisis refuge for women and their children for at least 300km in all directions - recently underwent a much-needed expansion.

The work has been made possible through the generosity of bequests made to support the ongoing work of the Army.

Catherine Haven was initially set up in the 1970s by Salvation Army officers Stan and Connie Hindle, who saw a desperate need in Broken Hill for a refuge for women and children who were victims of domestic violence.

Current manager Major Kelvin Stace says demand grew steadily over the years to the point that “there were times when the women and their children being accommodated were (proverbially) almost hanging out the windows”.

In the early 1990s, the beginning of a relocation and rebuilding process was made possible through bequests.

Major Kelvin says: “After much thinking, planning and prayer, plans for six units were put in place however, funding meant only three were initially built.“

By late 2009, when plans for the final three units were made, he says, changes in government requirements meant the originally planned duplication of units was modified. Three separate relocatable-style cottages, each with their own bathroom, laundry, family/lounge room, kitchen and three bedrooms, were built.

Major Kelvin says: “These new houses mean women and children escaping violence have a place to stay and time to sort through problems and issues. We’ll work to help them come to a place of confidence to re-enter our community and begin to rebuild their lives”.

Grateful for the support that made the expansion possible, he says: “I would like to extend my sincere thanks on behalf of The Salvation Army, and the workers of Catherine Haven, to the community and council of Broken Hill, as well as to the valued ‘Honoured Friends’ of The Salvation Army who think of us and our work when they make a will.

“We praise God for people who help us help others in need.

“Our 125-year history is one of service to the community of Broken Hill in times of drought, storms, strikes, and various other situations. The vision of the officers back in the 1970s was one of service to a community in need and current management and staff still hold this same vision.”

The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.

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