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New home for Carinya Women’s and Children’s Services in the Illawarra


The Salvation Army is the largest provider of homelessness services across the country. (Stock image)
By LAUREN MARTIN

The Salvation Army’s support services for women and children affected by family violence and homelessness in the Illawarra have been bolstered, with a redevelopment approved for Carinya Women and Children’s Services.

Carinya Women and Children’s Services provides crisis and transitional housing and outreach support for women and children impacted by domestic violence and homelessness in the NSW Illawarra region.

The service also operates a weekly meal service, art-therapy program and Driving Forward program to assist women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds and indigenous women gain their driver’s licence. The service was recently successful in gaining government funding to redevelop its crisis housing and service headquarters.

“We will be able to provide up to nine families housing support after the redesign which is double the amount that we currently are able to support in crisis accommodation,” said Manager Sonya Button. “Not only that, we will be able to support families in a much more dignified and trauma-informed facility.”

The redevelopment is expected to begin this year, with nine purpose-built self-contained two-bedroom units built on site. The units will be designed to be reconfigured to accommodate a larger family through the unlocking of an interlocking door. This will replace the current shared-living crisis accommodation on site, which sees individuals and families sharing kitchen and living facilities.

“It gives people dignity and agency to run their household the way they want, in a safe confidential environment,” said Sonya. “With full access to staff Monday to Friday and 24-hour on-call support.”

The design also includes a ‘core’ area that will house staff offices, meeting rooms, therapy spaces and play areas and communal outdoor barbecue facilities.

Carinya Women and Children’s Services will continue to operate throughout the redevelopment and is currently looking for an alternative place to provide service whilst construction is completed.

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