Victims of domestic violence won't have to share with men

WOMEN and children in Taree who are escaping domestic and family violence will be supported by a new service called the Great Lakes Manning Homelessness Support Service and can be assured that they will not have to share a refuge with men, says Eugene McGarrell, district director Hunter New England, Department of Family and Community Services.

The Great Lakes Manning Homelessness Support Service will be run by The Samaritans Foundation, Diocese of Newcastle in partnership with Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council and will receive funding of $658,000 per year.

The Hunter New England District will receive nearly $18 million per year for specialist homelessness services, which is a $1.5 million increase in funding.

"Specialist homelessness services in the Taree area have been designed to be culturally appropriate for Aboriginal people in the community," Mr McGarrell said.

"The Samaritans Foundation has a long-standing reputation for delivering quality homelessness services for women and children, including refuges, in the Hunter New England.

"They will have a strong front line presence in Taree, concentrating on providing the right response and supports at the right time for women and children.

"In addition to providing crisis and transitional housing for women and children who are escaping domestic and family violence, Samaritans and Worimi will seek to prevent homelessness through early intervention programs."

"Further assistance available to women and children in Taree who are homeless or at risk includes counselling, legal advice, safety planning, food and clothing assistance.

"As a result of these reforms, women and children in Taree will receive services that are more responsive to their needs and focused on addressing the causes of homelessness.

"People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and those who are concerned about someone becoming homeless can call the new 24-hour Link2home line on 1800 152 152 to receive information and referral to local services."

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