Accommodation

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What stands in the way of finding home?

Often it can be very difficult to imagine a way through personal circumstances to safe, affordable housing in Sydney. Bonnie’s will do all we can to help you move onto a more settled life. We offer accommodation services at all levels of need including crisis accommodation, transitional housing and help to find a way into the rental market.

The barriers many women face in finding a home for themselves and their children can include:

  • Fear for your safety. You may be living in constant fear for yourself and loved ones.
  • Financial stress. This could be through existing debt, shortage of affordable housing options, poor credit history or previous financial abuse from your partner.
  • Lack of experience. Some women have never enjoyed a feeling of belonging or experienced the feeling of how a home should be.
  • Lack of knowledge. You might never have found your own home before.
  • Feeling isolated. Many women live without support within their community.
  • Poor public transport. This can discriminate against women without private transport.
  • Employment. You might not be employed or have a history of stable work.
  • Health stress. This could influence your ability to earn an adequate income to pay off bills and mortgage.
  • Lacking self-confidence. Being able to say ‘I am able to do it and deserve to have a home.’
  • Mental health issues without a good support network.

Crisis Accommodation

Eligibility: We assist women with children, who have experienced domestic or family violence and/or who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Bonnie Support Services has two crisis accommodation properties providing safe housing for up to four families at each. Accommodation is available for a maximum of 3 months and during their stay, women will be assisted to find longer term housing alternatives.

Each family has its own private bedroom. Residents share the kitchen, laundry and other common areas and we work together to create a supportive atmosphere. Respect for each other and care for the common spaces is essential, as it is for any shared living situation. Confidentiality around other residents and the accommodation’s location is required for the safety and security of everyone.

Housing is so much more than just a roof. It’s a place for us to grow stronger in.

Client

We want children to feel safe, happy and involved with life in their new temporary home. The children’s playrooms are bright and welcoming with toys and books, and outdoor playgrounds.

Families will be assessed to ensure it is safe for them to share the property with other residents.

Women will be assigned a Family Worker to support their immediate health, safety and welfare needs and are required to agree to, and abide by, the Rights and Responsibilities for crisis accommodation.

What’s it like to stay in our crisis accommodation?

For many women, their stay at Bonnie’s will be their first experience of crisis accommodation. What will life be like in this new environment? What happens day to day?

It might be useful to think of us as both a safe haven and a launching pad. If you are escaping domestic violence or homelessness, Bonnie’s is a safe haven. And as you get stronger and prepare to move on with your life independently, Bonnie’s is your launching pad.

highchair-smallWe try to make you and your children feel at home as much as possible. When you arrive, a staff member will welcome you and assess your needs to make sure we are the best place for you to stay. You will learn everything you will need to know to settle in and we will tell you about your rights and responsibilities.

Your room will be ready for you with bedding and linen. If you have left your home quickly, we help with essentials including clothing, food and bathroom items. Children coming to Bonnie’s are given a Bonnie’s backpack with pyjamas, socks, books and fun things to play with.

Over the next 48 hours, you will meet your caseworker and other residents in the house. This is the beginning of our journey together to find out exactly what you and your children need and how we can best support you.

You may have come from a very chaotic situation and there are immediate things that need to be done to keep you safe and in a position to take control of your situation. Your Family Worker will have assisted you to identify your immediate needs and created a case plan for you to review and agree to.

Your first weeks with us are often very busy. It’s a time when you will achieve small goals that may have seemed impossible before. Perhaps changing ID’s, visiting Centrelink, Medicare, your bank, the RTA or a legal service. You might be enrolling your children into a new school, seeing a doctor, counsellor or psychologist. You will be helped with referrals to the best services for you; given assistance with directions and transport. A Bonnie’s staff member is available too if necessary, for court, medical appointments etc.

When the most pressing issues around safety, finances, school and health are sorted, you will be ready to begin other activities and participate in the local community. Your caseworker will link you to groups and community.

During the day, you and the children can visit our offices anytime to speak with your caseworker or another staff member and we have a 24 hour call system so you can always reach us with any concerns. We are able to access interpreters at all times.

Most people leave Bonnie’s and go to other accommodation within 3 months.
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Transitional Housing

Eligibility: We assist women with children, who have experienced domestic or family violence and/or who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Bonnie Support Services is a Community Housing provider. This means we manage various types of transitional housing for families on a short term basis.

Transitional housing is available to provide stability when moving from a crisis to a more manageable situation. It’s a temporary option giving tenants the opportunity to live independently while they get into a position to prepare to move on once the lease with us finishes.

Accommodation is initially for 3 months. At the end of this time, the lease is reviewed. Women may then be offered another 3 month lease if they require more support before moving to a private rental market or social housing. The maximum length of stay in transitional housing is 12 months.

The housing options range from 2 bedroom to 4 bedroom units, townhouses and houses. We have 20 transitional properties. All leases are in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act.

Women will be assisted to find furniture and white goods for the house when they move in if that is required. Our Tenancy Workers can help with any questions or issues around your lease.

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