Pro­ject a life­saver for home­less

Herald Sun - Property - - NEWS - NI­COLE ENG­WIRDA

HUN­DREDS of women and chil­dren have found emer­gency hous­ing in the first six months of a cam­paign to com­bat home­less­ness caused by fam­ily vi­o­lence.

Launch Hous­ing’s rapid re­hous­ing fund has helped 78 fam­i­lies, in­clud­ing 155 chil­dren, who were home­less or at risk of los­ing their homes.

The Vic­to­rian-based ini­tia­tive has part­nered with agen­cies in Queens­land and Western Aus­tralia, with plans to con­tinue ex­pand­ing.

Launch Hous­ing deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Heather Holst said fam­ily vi­o­lence was the lead­ing cause of home­less­ness among women and chil­dren.

The fund, es­tab­lished by Home­Ground Ser­vices last year with a $3 mil­lion boost from REA Group, aims to help 1000 peo­ple in three years.

Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence cam­paigner Rosie Batty gave her sup­port to the pro­ject at its De­cem­ber launch.

Home­Ground Ser­vices has since joined forces with Hanover and has been re­branded as Launch Hous­ing.

“We’re gain­ing real mo­men­tum and it’s some­thing we’re feel­ing very hope­ful about,” Dr Holst said.

Pri­vate back­ing from REA Group has meant the pro­ject can tai­lor help to suit in­di­vid­ual cir­cum­stances.

“It could be used to­wards pay­ing the bond for a pri­vate rental, sub­si­dis­ing the rent or buy­ing a fridge,” Dr Holst said.

Hun­dreds of REA Group staff pitched in re­cently to as­sem­ble more than 300 pieces of fur­ni­ture at the Mel­bourne Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre.

The fur­ni­ture was then given to Launch Hous­ing to dis­trib­ute to fam­i­lies.

Rosie Batty and REA group chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tracey Fel­lows, with Home­Ground ser­vices chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Heather Holst (cen­tre), are sup­port­ers of the Launch Hous­ing re­hous­ing fund.

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