We have deep understanding of the issues faced by women experiencing homelessness and the close links between gender, poverty, family violence and homelessness for women. We know that family violence and homelessness are intimately connected. Family violence is the key driver of homelessness for women and the main reason women and children leave a family home.
Many women come to us at the peak of a crisis, seeking immediate safety and protection from a perpetrator, or months after violence has occurred, still in vulnerable situations and looking for a safe and secure place to live. We work with women to explore options that they might not have known existed, as well as being the moral support through what is a very difficult time.
Our support ranges from (but is not restricted to) providing short-term temporary accommodation, for example a safe place to sleep for a night and escape violence, to longer-term support, safety planning, navigating Child Protection, court support (such as taking out intervention orders), as well as helping women to access specialist family violence supports. We also collaborate with other homelessness service providers to ensure compassionate and tailored service delivery and achieve the best outcomes for homeless women and their children.
Family Violence Outposts
We operate the state’s only Family Violence Outpost program that ‘outposts’ specialist family violence workers to three homelessness access points across the region to provide immediate support to victim survivors of family violence. As the current homelessness system doesn’t offer a gender-specific response, the Family Violence Outpost program seeks to overcome this gap in service delivery by having our specialist workers work alongside case managers in homelessness organisations. The program also builds the capacity of homelessness organisations to recognise women’s needs as distinct from those of men.
In Victoria, if you’re experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis, the first step is to contact a local Homelessness Access Point. An Initial Assessment and Planning (IAP) worker will assess your support needs and then refers you onto Juno or other specialist support services. As there is no direct referral process, clients come to us through Access Points. Find a Victorian Access Point.