We are excited to share that Open Support’s new crisis accommodation service for women and children, The Cottage is now open. The launch was officiated by the Assistant Minister for Social Services, the Hon Justine Elliot and St Vincent’s Clinic CEO, Katie Viviers.

“It is inspirational to be here with you to see what actually that money means in terms of very real outcomes,” Ms Elliott commented when addressing the attendees of the opening.

Consisting of eight purpose-built, self-contained units, the new service can accommodate up to 32 families or 102 individuals per year. Adopting a ‘core and cluster model’, self-contained accommodation is located next to a ‘core’, which provides access to services such as counselling, legal assistance, education, and employment support.

CEO of St Vincent's Clinic - Katie Viviers

CEO of St Vincent’s Clinic – Katie Viviers

The Cottage supports clients for up to three months in crisis and then up to a further two years through transitional and outreach programs, where women and children are supported in their own private rental homes.

An important feature of the facility is that all children up to 18 years can be accommodated with their mother. A Child Wellbeing Advocate is also available to focus solely on the needs of children to ensure that their educational and developmental needs are being met.

The Cottage build was funded by its generous donors and the Department of Social Services (DSS).