Lisa Hilder, Treasurer of Winner, the Preston Road Women's Centre explains how the Women in Safe Homes fund provides a solution for organisations supporting women at risk of homelessness because they have or are experiencing domestic abuse and in need of a safe home - with specialist support - to live in.
Preston Road Women’s Centre, is very pleased to be involved in the delivery of the Women in Safe Homes fund and to contribute to the provision of circa six hundred safe homes for women all over the UK.
Winner has been providing safe homes for women in Hull since 2007 and currently owns, leases and manages more than 200 dispersed houses and flats for women rebuilding their lives after the traumatic experience of fleeing violence and abuse.
Having somewhere safe, secure and of decent quality to live in is the first step to recovery after any difficult life experience and in particular domestic abuse. Once a woman and her family are settled in a new home then the process of healing and moving forward can begin.
For women in these circumstances, it is particularly important to be able to have their own home away from the control of an abusive ex-partner and to re-establish their own autonomy and independence. Housing is a big part of this but often additional support and advocacy are required in order to deal with the range of issues created by the upheaval of leaving a violent relationship – everything from help to access money and household goods, to assisting children to move schools, to dealing with the emotional aftermath of the trauma she has been through.
Winner has been successfully helping women and their children recover from domestic abuse for more than a decade – move-on housing of this type has been proven to help women make permanent breaks from the perpetrator. Of the women we house and support, more than 99% have made the break from their perpetrator. National statistics tell us that on average women leave and return seven times before making that permanent break
We wanted to share and disseminate the way we work and therefore be able to benefit women in other areas of the country and therefore being part of the Women in Safe Homes fund was a really good way to enable women’s sector organisations to do this.
We will support charities and women’s organisations all over the UK to develop their own portfolios through the fund and to build their skills and expertise in managing move on supported accommodation. This will help them to develop the track record to take their own local models forward and to acquire more properties either through this fund or through other forms of social investment. Not only will they be able to help women local to them, but they will be able to develop a capital asset base that will help them with their own financial resilience into the future.
This way of bringing on line additional sustainable income streams will help to build a stronger, more independent women’s sector that can plan for services long term and can ensure that women in difficult circumstances have safe and supported homes and can recover from their traumatic life experiences.
Winner is very excited to be part of enabling this step-change in the sector and ensuring that more women than we could ever reach on our own can benefit from this service provision.
Lisa Hilder, Treasurer at Winner, The Preston Road Women's Centre
The Women In Safe Homes fund, believed to be the world’s first gender-lens property fund, provides a solution to the lack of affordable, safe and secure homes across the UK for women who are experiencing homelessness, as they are survivors of domestic abuse, are prison leavers or have other complex needs including mental health problems.
The fund formed its first partnership with leading women’s sector charity, Winner, which will offer safe homes for women in the region and additionally help other women’s sector organizations to replicate its pioneering recovery model for women and children. Further women’s sector and homelessness charity partners are currently being sought; if your organization needs property to support women and deliver more impact in this sector, we would like to hear from you.
Find out more about the Women in Safe Homes fund:
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