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The Cornelia Program: Breaking the cycle of homelessness for vulnerable women and their babies

The Royal Women's Hospital

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Varied Ages
Project Focus
Project Area
Australia
Metro

Project Description

We need help to help break the cycle of homelessness for vulnerable women and their babies.

The Women’s, Launch Housing and HousingFirst have collaborated to develop the Cornelia Program – an Australian-first initiative that aims to break the cycle of homelessness and support pregnant women and new mothers to develop a lasting bond with their babies.

This housing, healthcare and social support program provides:
• Access to transitional/temporary accommodation for pregnant women and new mothers for a period of up to 12 months;
• Access to maternity, neonatal, sexual, reproductive and specialist women’s health services for tenants;
• Care coordination services to support women to access other health and psychosocial programs;
• Support for tenants to access long-term housing and ongoing care coordination services.

Thanks to philanthropic and government partners, women and babies started moving in into 36 purpose-built apartments in August 2021. We seek funding to provide support to our women to help them onto a successful and sustainable path. Specifically we require funding to enable the purchase of furniture, furnishings and essential items for babies who will reside in the 36 units – e.g. Pepi-Pods for safe sleeping and other child safety equipment, cots, sheets, blankest change table, bottles and a pram. Valued at $30,600 per year. We have secured funding for the first year and seek funds for another two years.

Expected Outcomes

The impact:
The women who will be impacted by this funding support are among the most marginalised and stigmatised in our society. Their disadvantage is caused by the compounding impact of family violence, intergenerational trauma, homelessness, and complex substance use dependence, and the fact that health, housing and community service sectors are ill-equipped to respond to their complex needs. Philanthropic supporters of the Cornelia Program will provide a life changing opportunity for these women and their babies.

The problem you can help solve:
Your investment will augment existing funding and provide support to our women to help them onto a successful and sustainable path. Specifically, we require funding to enable the purchase of furniture, furnishings and essential items for babies who will reside in the 36 units – e.g. Pepi-Pods for safe sleeping and other child safety equipment, cots, sheets, change tables, bottles and prams. This is valued at $30,600 per year - calculated at $850 per baby x 36 units = $30,600.

We have successfully secured funding of $30,600 from a charitable trust for procurement of baby items and essential furnishings for the first year’s occupancy of 36 units.

Investment:
Additional funding of $61,200 would enable us to provide two additional years of these essential items to our new intake of Cornelia women to assist with the engagement, nurture and care for their babies.

Project Data & Lessons

The measurement:
A key component of the Cornelia Program is an independent impact evaluation study, commencing in 2021 to understand how our work is helping/helped the women and children, to understand how effective the Program is, and to aid our communication of what we have done and the value of our work to different audiences including to Government with the aim of securing ongoing funding.

Project Dates

Project Commences: June 1, 2021
Project Completes: June 1, 2025

Funding Details

$61,200
Funding Needed
$30,600
Current Funding
$91,800
Total Project Costs
0
Approved Tax Deductability Status
Other Funding Sources
Other Support Opportunities
Impact investment

Organisation Details

The Royal Women's Hospital
ABN: 62787822077

Contact

Jason Smith
Phone: (03) 8345 2818

About The Royal Women's Hospital

The Women’s is Australia’s first and largest specialist hospital dedicated to improving the health of all women and newborns. Our vision is to set the benchmark in women’s health and to support women to manage their health and enjoy the best possible quality of life. Each year around 90 babies are delivered under the care of the Women’s Alcohol and Drug Service (WADS); up to 80% of these babies’ mothers do not have secure housing. A service review in 2016 showed that 90% of women who access WADS had past experiences of violence and 72% reported violence in their current relationship. Around 50% of WADS women had child protection contact as children themselves and some 84% had child protection services involvement in their pregnancy. The Women’s, have collaborated with Launch Housing and HousingFirst to develop the Cornelia Program – an Australian-first initiative that aims to break the cycle of homelessness and support pregnant women and new mothers to develop a lasting bond with their babies. The Cornelia Program service model is predicated on women and babies accessing 36 newly constructed studio apartments for a 12 month period. Once fully operational in July 2021, we will be offering safe and comfortable housing to 36 women and their babies. However as other long-term housing options become available and/or circumstances change, women may choose to leave their unit prior to the end of their lease; enabling the Cornelia Program to potentially support upwards of 50 women.

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