The announcement today of a five year funding deal between the NT Government and The Salvation Army to construct a purpose built domestic family crisis facility will make a difference to addressing the region’s growing homelessness challenges, says affordable housing and homelessness peak body NT Shelter.
Executive Officer Peter McMillan said that the new facility would provide a much-needed boost to the number of beds available to women and children fleeing domestic violence in Palmerston and surrounding communities.
“Domestic family violence is consistently the top reason why women and accompanying children seek help from specialist homeless services, with one in two women having experienced violence at home”, said Mr McMillan.
A study released earlier this year by Equity Economics for Everybody’s Home found that homelessness costs of $257 million per year across Australia could be avoided by providing shelter to women escaping family and domestic violence. The report also estimated the costs of women returning to a violent partner to be in the order of $122 million[i].
“This is a very significant announcement. Not only will there be an additional 49 beds for a system that is already at full capacity, it will also include pathways to stable, longer term housing through its transitional accommodation model. This is very important because it provides an option for women other than returning home and placing themselves in danger through the risk of further violence”, he said.
According to monthly figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the number of women citing domestic family violence as the main reason for seeking the assistance of homelessness services grew by 24% in the 12 months to June 2021.