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Councillor Angela Vithoulkas Question on Notice

SUPPORTING WOMEN’S SHELTERS (S103147)

Question

The City has taken a very public position against domestic violence with a series of gatherings and communications.

What are the numbers of existing women’s shelters in the LGA?

Are women and children turned away from the shelters due to capacity issues?

Does the City fully or partially fund with cash or value-in-kind any of the women’s shelters?

Answer by the Lord Mayor

Women’s services in NSW are primarily funded by the State Government. Women’s shelters are funded for a range of activities that respond to domestic violence, drug and alcohol dependency, release from correctional facilities etc. Some provide shelter or transitional accommodation exclusively for women. Some provide accommodation for men, women and children. The City doesn’t have a comprehensive list of all service providers.

However, staff are aware of one crisis accommodation shelter in the local government area (LGA) that specifically accommodates women (and children) who have experienced domestic and family violence.

There are two additional women-only shelters in the LGA that specialise in assisting women who have experienced drug and/or alcohol dependency, and may also have experienced domestic and family violence.

There are another five crisis accommodation centres in the inner city, however, they are open to men, women and young people and are not specifically set up to support people escaping from domestic and family violence situations.

Other services within and nearby the LGA provide some short term transitional accommodation to young people or people in drug rehabilitation, however, these are not specifically refuges for people in domestic and family violence situations.

The City has provided grants to a number of these organisations through the Matching Grants, Local Community Grants and Cultural Grants programs for projects including an edible garden, programs for parents of young people questioning their gender or sexuality, art workshops and art therapy.

At the Winter Street Count 2015, the Crisis Hostels across the City were at 96% capacity, meaning they could not accepted additional clients at that time.

Services are expected to provide assessments and referrals regardless of whether they have accommodation available. Women eligible under the Family and Community Services criteria may be offered Temporary Accommodation for up to 28 days. Women unable to find crisis accommodation are recommended to call Link2Home for a placement.

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