'Welcome home' to stability
27 August 2012
Many women, especially those who have hastily fled domestic violence, often arrive at The Salvation Army’s Pindari Women’s (emergency) Accommodation Service in Brisbane with few or no possessions, except the clothes on their backs.
Able to stay in the crisis service for a maximum of three months, the women continue to face significant hurdles, including the struggle to obtain secure accommodation in a highly competitive rental market, and generally with severely limited finances.
Helped by a grant through the Brisbane City Council Housing Support Funding Program, Pindari staff, who offer case management, housing advocacy, and living skills training to clients, now also have an option to supply a ‘Welcome Home Pack’ to clients who are moving on from the service into their own accommodation (all too often completely empty).
Based on an assessment of each individual woman’s most urgent requirements, the packs may include some linen and/or household appliances, such as a toaster or jug.
Pindari manager Valerie Fleming says: “Our experience and data highlight the fact that women who exit our service generally lack the resources to establish themselves with the basic necessities ... and so are at greater risk to cycle back into homelessness.”
She says that many of the women return to Pindari Women’s Service in the first weeks of moving into their new accommodation, desperately needing a hot meal, as their funds have been used for the absolute basics of establishing a new home.
“‘Welcome Home Packs’, Valerie says, are a small, but essential help along the road to permanent stability.”