A safe home for vulnerable families
Anglicare’s latest initiative, in partnership with Anglican churches, provides vulnerable families escaping trauma and violence with a safe place to call home.
The SHIFT* program was recently launched to assist families in transition – particularly refugees and those fleeing domestic violence. Glenda Devlin, Community Services Head of Strategy and Development, says SHIFT provides families fleeing violence and trauma with low-cost, short-term housing. They can also access other Anglicare services if needed, and receive practical support and friendship.
Anglicare will act as landlord and tenant, leasing properties from owners and subleasing to families in need. A case worker will help them access services and connect them to their local community. Families will initially pay about 40% of the market rental with Anglicare subsidising the rest. They will have the opportunity to build a positive rental history to help them move into mainstream housing within a year.
Through a recent appeal to partners and supporters, Anglicare is able to fund the first seven families to transition from trauma into a secure future. In recent weeks an Anglican church in southern Sydney has welcomed a Syrian refugee family into transitional accommodation, and additional families will follow suit in other areas.
Anglicare aims to operate 12 SHIFT properties throughout Sydney and the Illawarra by June 2018. With plans to grow to 50 properties assisting 150 families within five years, we are working with parishes and church members with a heart to help people facing some desperate challenges. “We are seeking generous members of the Church community to lease their investment properties to Anglicare, enabling us to provide safe and secure subsidised accommodation to families in need,” says Ms Devlin.
A parish or community group can also adopt a house, committing to furnishing it, working on the garden or stocking the pantry. There are many ways people can support families in transition. Even a simple offer of friendship can build profound connections into the community.
*SHIFT – Support and Housing Initiative for Families in Transition.