Domestic or family violence against women is the single largest driver of homelessness for women, a common factor in child protection notifications, and results in a police call-out on average once every two minutes across Australia.
In 2021, Toora Women Inc. was granted funding through the National Safe Places Program to provide two out of 780 new emergency accommodation facilities.
The addition of these emergency houses brought Toora's total housing to 50 emergency accommodation sites in the ACT, enabling them to support additional women and their children fleeing domestic violence each year.
Beyond Bank shares Toora’s vision of safety, respect and choice for women, and affordable housing is a critical pillar of our commitment to our local communities. In April 2021, we were pleased to have the opportunity to provide Toora with a $10,000 grant to furnish the two homes. One of these homes was set up for accessibility for disabled women and children, and included lowered furniture and benchtops, bathrooms with handrails and non-glass showers, and wheelchair-friendly furniture.
One year on, we are thrilled to see this project come to fruition and hear the life-changing impact it has had on two families.
One family is a mother and her five children who moved into one of Toora's homes after living in a motel for over two months. She is now able to learn English in a safe environment so she can further her job prospects.
The second family is a mother and her three children. With the support of the program, the mother has regular part-time work and is focused on moving into a full-time role so she can support her family on her own.
“I feel like a new person. I have my independence back and can make parenting decisions without worrying about any toxic impacts. I am getting my confidence back,” said the mother.
Toora will continue supporting these two families until they are in a position to rent in the private market or move into public housing.
Toora Women Inc will celebrate their 40th anniversary in August 2022. It has been an honour to partner with them over the past year, as we congratulate and reflect on their tireless commitment to empowering women in the ACT.