In response to the growing need for safe accommodation and support for women over the age of 50, the St Bart’s Women’s Service has commenced expansion.
The Women’s Service and its expansion was made possible through the generous support of major partners, Hawaiian, WEN Giving, Lotterywest, Stan Perron Charitable Foundation, Vermilion Energy, Packer Family Foundation, Feilman Foundation, and the Anglican Parishes of Perth, and has seen the Service grow from 16 to 32 beds.
The Women’s Service is a unique program in WA that assists older women – the fastest growing demographic experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness in Australia – to gain the support they need to rebuild their lives.
“The majority of women residing in our expanded facilities have experienced family and domestic violence,” says Danika Yeong, Women’s Service Coordinator. “These women have often experienced decades of abuse.”
With the funds to employ more staff, St Bart’s can now help twice the number of women.
The enthusiasm for the new surrounds is evident in the residents’ eagerness to contribute. “The residents who occupy this building have offered to create some artwork to put up on the walls of the shared lounge and dining room to represent new beginnings,” Danika said.
Furthermore, a number of new clients have expressed a desire to become more engaged in recreation, leisure and social activities such as sewing, swimming and painting. “Being in a safe and supportive environment has enabled these enjoyable past times to reveal themselves once again.”
“They go far and beyond, and they really want to see you go forward,” says client Kelly. “The feeling of confidence and being worthy – I haven’t had this kind of support system before.”
The Women’s Service is fully funded by our giving community of corporate partners and philanthropists, however, we hope to change that in future with government support.
If you would like to volunteer or make a tax-deductable contribution to helping women, men and children experiencing homelessness, you can donate or contact us on (08) 9323 5100.