With the renovation of an existing unused building and the building of 8 new apartments, GSI will create a new facility that will accommodate up to 12 women with their children who have experienced family violence and homelessness. GSI plans to expand our service and help meet the demand for emergency and transitional housing for women and children experiencing family violence and homelessness. The service model planned for the new Centre will scale-up the current service provision at GSI with additional case management and coaching available with place-based staff onsite Monday through to Saturday 8am to 6pm with afterhours support available through the GSI On Call system.
The new GSI Centre will prioritise women from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as well as women with no permanent residency (PR). GSI will continue to work in partnership with appropriate local services such as Elizabeth Morgan House and VACCA to ensure the referral pathways are transparent and accessible and our service model is culturally safe and compliant with frameworks such as Djelk Dja Agreement and the Nargneit Birrang. We will also continue to work with organisations such as inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence and safe steps to accept referrals of women with no PR.
GSI is committed to supporting clients on their personal journey to self-sufficiency. GSI recognises that having stable affordable housing is critical to a victim survivors recovery and journey to independence. Using the EMPath Bridge to Self-Sufficiency framework, (https://www.empathways.org/approach/bridge-to-self-sufficiency) GSI plan to utilise the pillars of Family Stability, Well-Being, Financial Management, Education & Training and Employment and Career to partner with women and families to create meaningful and sustained long term outcomes. Through GSI’s Employment program, the EMPath model will be used to engage women through one on one mentoring to support them on their road to self-sufficiency. Through the Employment program, women will be offered employment ready skills training, financial coaching and opportunities to find sustainable employment.
GSI staff have been trained in using the EMPath model to engage with women and families through a coaching and support process that has proven successful outcomes for women who have experienced family violence and homelessness and often have significant barriers to living self-sufficient, stable and positive lives.
GSI is part of the broader family violence and homelessness sectors and a members of Domestic Violence Victoria. We also work with the catholic social services to increase awareness of and build better responses to those experiencing or perpetrating family violence. There are numerous ways that GSI will share out data and learnings.
Domestic and family violence is the number one reason women become homeless in Australia. 40% of female clients cite it as the main reason for seeking homelessness assistance. (CHP analysis of AIHW, Specialist Homelessness Services Collection, 2017-18). Women aged 25-34 are the most likely age group to experience homelessness. Women over 55 years are the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness in Australia. (ABS data 2016). In 2018-19 safe steps averaged 60 women with children a night in a motel for every night of the year. Safe steps overspent by $2.2million to meet growing demand, increased complexities experienced by victim survivors and significant barriers due to chronic shortage across the spectrum of housing needs from crisis to long term/permanent. In the last 12 months Haven, the local homelessness access point, provided 1399 government funded accommodation stays for women, an average of 111 per month. Evaluation of the project will be informed and driven by those with lived experience. It will be ongoing with regular reporting to our Board and funders in the initial stages. We have a TOC to inform will the framework