Posted on: 14/06/2018

House of Hope

One year on and our Mums & Bubs House is breaking cycles of homelessness

Our house was opened a year ago as part of our special program, which supports young mums to break cycles of homelessness and disadvantage and provides safe housing for between eight to 12 young mothers plus 14 babies each year.

The lives of these mums and their bubs are forever changed by this experience.

The program not only provides safe, short term accommodation to mums and their babies when they need it most, but through mentoring, support and skill development it also equips the mothers to live safer and more independent lives when they leave the program.

Mums and Bubs House the first year

  • Officially opened on 8 June 2017.
  • Our first mum and baby moved in to the house on 7 July 2017.
  • By early August 2017 the house was at capacity.
  • Since opening 7 mums and their babies have lived in the house.
  • Four mothers and their babies have graduated from the program
  • Two of these mums have reconnected with family and two are now in private rental accommodation.

The house continues to operate at full capacity and with more demand than we can cope with.

 

Highlights

  • House Easter celebration and Easter hunt.
  • House Christmas celebration and children's activities.
  • Mother's Day celebration: The babies (with assistance) made Mother's Day cards for their mums. Thank you to Cardinia Shire staff who donated some beautiful items for Mother's Day hampers. 
  • House excursions: the mums and babies have organised a range of outings including a BBQ in the park, play centre and swimming trips. The mums choose and assist in the planing of these house excursions.
  • Cardinia Shire Enhanced Maternal Child Health Team are supporting the mums with key stage visits and specialist advice.

Meet Kara and Kerry
Two of the Strachan House mothers* who completed the program in the first year, are now in self sufficient living after moving into their own private rentals.


Both Kara and Kerry developed vital independent living and parenting skills, such as cleaning, maintenance and cooking, during the months that they lived in the house. “Before she came to us Kara couldn’t cook and neither of them had done much cleaning or home maintenance, so it was a massive learning curve for them,” says Melissa Young, Mums & Bubs Worker. The mums also undertook workshops on renting and home safety.


Kara’s story
Kara and her five month old son James had become homeless due to a difficult family situation. The pair moved into Strachan House shortly after it opened last year. Kara came from a background of entrenched disadvantage. All her immediate family were in social housing, and she didn’t think she would ever be able to maintain her own private rental. The stable living environment of Strachan House, together with mentoring and skill development, gave her the support she needed to make the giant leap into renting her own home. She is now looking for work and hopes to study.


Kerry’s story
Kerry and her eight month old daughter Chloe were accepted into Strachan Housing after becoming homeless after fleeing family violence. Kerry used her time in the house to prepare for independent living. Knowing she lacked nearly all basic household items, Kerry carefully budgeted her Parenting Allowance so she could make gradual purchases of everyday materials such as tea towels and cutlery. Kerry and Chloe are now proudly living in their own rental home.

*Details have been changed to protect privacy.

New garden
The Garry White Foundation are generously supporting the installation and ongoing maintenance of a Strachan House vegetable garden. The garden will provide the mums with fresh produce and a place for the children to learn and enjoy nature.

Thank you
Without the overwhelming and generous support community support, we would not be able to deliver this program, which gives young mums and their children a better chance at life.

Since the house opening we have received so many gifts and donations including soaps, clothes, blankets, toys, baby products, food and furniture from our wonderful supporters. 


For more information about how to support our Mums and Bubs program or to make a donation please contact our Fundraising Office on 9705 3286 or email fundraising@windermere.org.au