Project a lifesaver for homeless
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.