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Salvos homelessness service honoured in Mount Isa

Renee Collins, Melissa Warhurst, and Leonie Stocker at the Mount Isa community awards evening. (Team member Suzie Dalle Cort is absent from the photo.)

The Salvation Army’s Serenity House in Mount Isa, north-west Queensland, has received the ‘Excellence in Community Homelessness Services Delivery’ award at the city’s 2023 Community Services Ball.

Serenity House Manager Melissa Warhurst says it is great recognition for the hard work that the small team is doing within the community.

“We like to pride ourselves on going above and beyond and being quite flexible in service delivery, so it was great to be recognised.”

Serenity House is a residential homelessness support service in Mt Isa, offering five units for women and children experiencing homelessness. This year, the service began mobile community support to assist more women in need who are unable to access accommodation at Serenity House due to the service being in such high demand.

The 2023 Excellence in Community Homelessness Services Delivery award went to The Salvation Army’s Serenity House in Mt Isa.

“We can provide women in the community with support in working towards a housing outcome, such as helping them with a housing application,” Melissa says. “We meet the women where they feel comfortable in the community and work towards ensuring they have somewhere safe to stay.”

Life Matters group

Recently, the service also gained a grant to continue running a successful pilot program of a weekly women’s group called ‘Life Matters’. The group is a joint project between Mt Isa Corps and Serenity House, which are co-located on one property.

“The group aims to reduce social isolation for women in our remote community,” Melissa says. All women from the community are welcome, and the service strongly encourages women who are being supported by Serenity House, Mount Isa Recovery service and the local corps to attend.

“We have a spiritual devotion provided by the corps members, then we have a morning tea and a craft activity or a cooking activity. At the moment, we are running a parenting course with the group.”

Area Officer Major Michelle Oliver says the award is a beautiful community recognition of the team’s great work in partnering with others, like Mt Isa Corps, and reaching out to vulnerable women in the Mt Isa Community.


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