McAuley Opens Fifth Refuge
McAuley has opened its fifth refuge for women and their children. The refuge in Melbourne adds to McAuley’s extensive range of services and accommodation for women and their children who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, as a result of family violence or mental illness.
Each year McAuley, a ministry of the Mercy Sisters, assists more than 600 women and children to rebuild their lives, supporting them on their journey towards independence and safer futures.
The fifth refuge is a fully renovated two-bedroom home, which can house at least one family, depending on the number of children.
McAuley’s many supporters have helped with the refuge ‘set up’. All the furniture was donated by McAuley supporters, including Master’s hardware store, friends of the Mercy Sisters who have supported McAuley for decades, and the public keen to ensure safe emergency accommodation is available for women fleeing family violence.
Women and their children who use the refuge will stay approximately six weeks and a McAuley caseworker will support the family in the early stages of re-establishing their lives. McAuley also provides intensive support to children and a therapeutic children’s room (pictured) has been set up.
While the house is almost ready to accommodate women, some things are needed to make it feel like a home. McAuley is still looking for:
• New towel and sheet sets.
• New blankets and pillows.
• New craft packs for children, or separate paints, pencils, and art books that can be made into packs.
• A China tea set.
“Workplaces, community groups, Church groups or even families might think of putting a basket in the front office and collecting new laundry detergents, toiletries, personal hygiene and cleaning items, which the women in the house will need to use every day of the year,” said McAuley CEO Joce Bignold.
McAuley’s five refuges are a part of McAuley Care which includes Victoria’s only round-the clock, 365 days of the year crisis accommodation and support for women and their children escaping domestic violence. Many of the women from the crisis accommodation are then moved to the refuge.