A Year Well Done

The year is drawing to a close. Thank you for helping us support more than 600 women and children this year. You play an important part in our solution for women who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.

Our solution puts the 600 plus women and children that we support each year at the heart of what we do. Our solution is about inspiring women in their journey from homelessness to independence and well-being. We work to help women recover and rejuvenate from the appalling circumstances that catapulted them into homelessness. We couldn’t do this without you.

What better way to mark the end of the year than news of the Impact100 grant, which is featured in a story in this newsletter. This $100,000 grant enables us to create opportunities for women who come to our safe house, our refuge program, to McAuley House and to the women who are part of our employment program.

This award followed the successful teddy campaign where we have asked every candidate in the State election to think about homelessness and tell us what they intend to do to fix the problem. Hundreds of postcards were sent by you and we thank you. Another cause of celebration has been the growth of our Engage to Change program, which is being picked up by many companies. Through this program we have the chance to work with employers and staff to help them better understand family violence, how it impacts the organisation and what they can do to support the women who are experiencing family violence and trying to maintain their jobs.

As part of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence we will use this website and our Facebook page to shine the spotlight on the women we work with, the staff who work behind the scenes and the people who support us. Please follow the campaign through the ‘eyes’ of McAuley Community Services for Women and get a sense of what is being done within and beyond our organisation, one that has a rich history and tradition thanks to the Sisters of Mercy.

As well as service delivery we have played an important role in advocating for policies and funding for safe, affordable housing. Housing is a critical issue and we are well placed to speak about this. We know that many, many women don’t leave a violent situation because they don’t have the financial resources to do it. A woman leaving an abusive partner will need housing and employment to stay independent, but both are put at risk by the abuse itself. Workplaces are public spaces that can be easy for abusers to access. And controlling women financially, by threatening their jobs, is a way of making them stay longer.

So while we have achieved much this year, there is so much more to do and we will do it with your continued support.

Again, thank you for your support, Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Joceyln Bignold
Chief Executive Officer
McAuley Community Services for Women