An innovative Victorian Coalition Government program will boost the safety of women and children at risk of homelessness in the Whittlesea area, Housing Minister Wendy Lovell said today.
Ms Lovell has announced $1,043,922 in funding under the Coalition Government's Victorian Homelessness Action Plan for the 'Families at Home' Innovation Action Project.
"Earlier this year I announced funding for 10 Innovation Action Projects as part of the Coalition Government's Victorian Homelessness Action Plan to trial new and innovative ways of tackling homelessness," Ms Lovell said.
"Now I'm delighted to announce the details of an eleventh project, the 'Families at Home' Innovation Action Project, which will intervene early to tackle family violence and homelessness."
CEO of Kildonan Uniting Care, Stella Avramopoulos, said the pilot project was an exciting new approach to tackling family violence.
"This is a great opportunity that the Coalition Government has created to specifically address family violence leading to homelessness," Ms Avramopolous said.
"We look forward to working with Homeground, the Salvation Army Crossroads and the Department of Human Services to deliver an innovative and integrated pilot, which will identify and engage families experiencing or at risk of experiencing family violence, supporting them to avoid serious housing crisis."
The agencies will operate as a one-stop 'hub' model operating out of Kildonan's Epping site, providing a range of co-ordinated services including drug and alcohol counselling, mental health support and legal services.
Central to the model is the safety of women and children. With a strong focus on early intervention, this model is different to other, more traditional family violence programs in that it:
- works with the whole family to create household, family and relationship stability;
- supports women and children to explore options to always remain safe in the family home;
- receives referrals from a wider range of agencies, with the aim of intervening earlier; and
- provides family, housing, financial, and energy information and support and creates a range of ways to keep the family safe at home.Ms Lovell said she was looking forward to positive results from the Innovation Action Projects, including the 'Families at Home' plan.
"I'm excited about this Innovation Action Project and the benefits it will have for at risk families in the Whittlesea area," Ms Lovell said.
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region and Whittlesea resident Craig Ondarchie said the funding was further evidence of the Coalition Government's commitment to the city's north.
"The Coalition Government recognises the needs of families in the north of Melbourne, and is working hard to address them," Mr Ondarchie said.
"The 'Families at Home' Innovation Action Project will make a big difference to the families who need help the most."