Online Project Showcase
  • Organisation:

    Sacred Heart Mission

  • ABN or Auspicing Organisation:


  • Scope of Activity:


  • Geographic Location:

    St Kilda, Melbourne, 3182

  • Target Groups:

    Gay and Lesbian


Funding Information

  • Total Funding Required (AUD):


  • Current Funding (AUD):


  • Funding Needed (AUD):


  • Tax Deductability Status (DGR):


  • Tax Concession Status (TCC):


  • DGR Additional Information:


  • Other Funding Partners:

    Victorian Government ($296,920); Other donations: ($227,257)

Project Information

  • Project Commencement Date:
  • 01 Jan 2019
  • Project Completion Date:
  • What issues are addressed?:
  • It is shocking that women experiencing homelessness in Victoria has increased 8.3% in 5 years. Women aged 25-34, many with children, are most represented, and women over 55 are the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness in Australia.

    Today, 3 out of 5 people seeking homelessness help are women, and many more are at risk of homelessness. At the same time, supply of affordable housing is at an all-time, serious low.

    Contributing factors, in order of prevalence, include: family/sexual violence, housing crisis such as eviction, rent unaffordability and being pushed out of severely crowded dwellings, problems with money/income/employment, relationship/social network breakdown, poor mental health, and problematic alcohol and other drug misuse.

    These factors often exist in combination and together with other complexities including personal trauma, poverty, social exclusion and depleted self-esteem that work to perpetuate homelessness and disadvantage.
  • Project Description:
  • Women's House - supporting women to put homelessness in the past and empowering them to overcome disadvantage.

    Open 8.30am to 1pm Monday to Friday, our Women’s House is a welcoming, support-rich, drop-in engagement hub for women experiencing (or at risk of) homelessness and women experiencing deep disadvantage.

    The mix of amenities, a place to rest and crisis support together with on-site access to case management and assistance to access housing, physical & mental health interventions, legal services, drug and alcohol support and opportunities for personal development makes Women's House unique in Melbourne, and highly effective in addressing each woman’s needs, at their own pace.
  • Alleviating suffering / disadvantage?:
  • Women accessing the house may be in crisis or experiencing housing difficulties due to a range of life experiences, including family violence, poverty, sexual violence, physical and mental illness, trauma and problematic drug and alcohol use.
    Over 100 individuals visit each month, with about 24% being refugees or recent arrivals. Many visit multiple times and sometimes with children. 500+ presentations monthly are typical.
    There are also women who do not know about Women’s House, or are unlikely to present voluntarily. Our Support Workers identify and gently engage with these women in the local community, so they are more likely to access support and services they need.
  • Changing Policy, Practices & Systems?:
  • Women's House communications and media activity seeks to raise awareness of the particular circumstances that put women at risk of and/or cause homelessness and call for reversal of these circumstances, such as: lack of affordable housing, family and sexual violence, and women's financial inequality in relationships and in the workplace.
    We also seek to engender compassion and a better understanding in the community regarding the experience and challenges of women at risk of and/or experiencing homelessness, and how as a community we can practice and advocate for an inclusive, respectful, proactively positive social attitude toward women impacted by homelessness and disadvantage.
  • Investing in or empowering women?:
  • Women's House helps and empowers women to achieve six long-term outcomes:

    1. Sustained housing
    2. Enhanced social and civic participation
    3. Stabilised and/or enhanced mental and physical health
    4. Independence & self-confidence
    5. Sustained personal well-being and safety
    6. A positive and purposeful focus on the future
  • Media / Promotion?:
  • Women's House and the experiences of women whom the House exists to support are featured in Sacred Heart Missions media channels, for example:
    1. Website:
    2. Blog articles:
    3. Public events led by the Women's House Women4Women Committee raises funds and awareness of the circumstances of women accessing the services of the House:
    International Women's Day Cocktail Party
    Give a Frock Campaign
    'Light up a Life' Lunch
    4. Women's House Volunteering (approx. 70 women from all walks of life contributing 1,800+ hours)
    5. Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram)
  • How is success evaluated / measured?:
  • The overall impact that Women's House seeks to achieve for its clients is to empower them to realise and sustain positive change and control in their lives in the areas of social and economic inclusion, stable accommodation and mental and physical wellbeing.
    The impact Women's House seeks in the community is to achieve an overall reduction in the number of women experiencing homelessness and disadvantage, an increase in positive transformational change achievable for this cohort, and to successfully meet and service a local community need.
    Sacred Heart Mission has a measurement and evaluation framework in place to measure outputs, the resulting outcomes and overall impact of Women's House work for the cohort of women it exists to support.

Contact Information

  • Contact Person:

    Amanda Thornton

  • Email:

  • Phone:

    9536 8467