GROWING THE SOUTH-WEST | Building a shelter for our women

LAUNCH: Announcing the next stage of the project were members of Wattle Grove Lions and representatives of Masterton Homes and community-service groups.
LAUNCH: Announcing the next stage of the project were members of Wattle Grove Lions and representatives of Masterton Homes and community-service groups.

A purpose-built home for homeless women and children is being set up.

The Roof Over Their Heads project is becoming a reality, with a block of land secured through Camden council and a home being donated by Masterton Homes.

A year ago Wattle Grove Lions, Masterton and Brighton Lakes Recreational & Golf Club announced a plan to provide a Roof Over Their Heads, a local shelter for vulnerable or homeless women and their children, a safe haven for women with, and without, children.

Masterton chairman DavidMasterton has long supported affordable housing and shelters for the homeless. After participating in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout for the last three years, he’d lobbied local, state and federal governments, with little success.

“In the end, we just need to make this happen, so I sought the help and collaboration with local community advocates,” he said.

Last year Wattle Grove Lions, Masterton, Kent’s Joinery and Bunnings Crossroads renovated St Jude’s Bankstown, a men’s transitional home.

During that project the Men’s Shelter co-ordinator suggested they contact Women’s Community Services. Wattle Grove Lions’ Carol Franshaw and Women’s Community Services’ Annabelle Daniel met with Mr Masterton. 

LEFT: Wayne Franshaw, Rob Dooley, David Masterton, Heather Franshaw-Thomas, Charishma Kaliyanda, Liam Dooley, Tanya Whitehouse, Annabelle Daniel, Carol Franshaw, Sharon Mathers, John McIntosh, Judith Dagworthy and Krystyna McIntosh.

By November, Camden Council was presented with a plan and unanimously voted to lease a property for the shelter. The six-bedroom house, donated by Masterton Homes, will be tailored to suit the needs of the women and children, including disabled access, a large kitchen, communal area and children’s play area.

Ms Daniel said: “Women’s Community Services is thrilled to work with Masterton, Wattle Grove Lions and Camden-Wollondilly Domestic Violence Committee on this much-needed shelter. With demand increasing due to the rise in domestic violence and homelessness it will bring hope to many.”

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