Women’s homeless centre mooted for Peel

Photo iStock
Photo iStock

A WOMEN’S accommodation homeless centre has been proposed for the Peel region.

St Benedict’s Homeless Foundation hopes to open the centre to help address the homelessness experienced by women in the community.

Chairman Michael Kiernan said the proposed centre would be in either Mandurah or Pinjarra.

“Our planning would be to hopefully have the first stage of 15 beds up and running by January 2021 – subject to council approval,” Mr Kiernan said.

“We would have three wings totalling 45 beds, with the fourth wing being a facilities building, all built in a quadrangle style.”

The proposed women’s homeless centre in the Peel region.

St Benedict’s Lodge would have a community centre as a central hub for case management, a one-to-one counselling service, vocational training, employment mentoring and job locating, a platform to re-establish independent living and ongoing support.

Mr Kiernan said the focus would be on women experiencing homelessness through sleeping or suffering domestic violence.

In WA, 42 per cent of the homeless population are women because of domestic violence, a lack of financial resources for various reasons or health issues. A large proportion are older women.

Just under 500 women sleep rough each night in WA, according to UWA research.

For those suffering home abuse, sometimes the only course of action is to sleep in their car until assisted by government or not-for-profit service providers. This can take days or in some cases weeks.

Police report there are about 400 cases weekly of domestic violence or assaults by a partner or family member in WA.

St Benedict’s Homeless Foundation is registered with the ACNC.