A nearly $100,000 funding boost from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund has allowed Australia’s second domestic violence shelter for men to open in Queensland.
The shelter, called Sheltered By Grace, has expanded its offering in order to offer men over 25 in the state’s south east the ability to ‘escape violent and hurtful relationships and give them the support they need at a crucial time’.
According to the ABC, the shelter provides food and utilities, secure and furnished rooms, transportation to and from health appointments, and 24-hour on-site management. Staff also offer weekly group discussions to help domestic violence survivors open up about their experiences, as well as Bible study and church services.
The shelter was originally launched in 2010 by Jason Loake and his wife Lisa in order to sustainably end homelessness by building community to effectively deliver emergency shelter and targeted programs. The not-for-profit charity offers people a safe, private bedroom of their own, with a communal kitchen and living areas, and support services for complex problems such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction and mental health.
“Forget about affordable housing, we desperately need emergency housing in Queensland and right across Australia,” explains Jason. “It’s just a daft model to put them in housing by themselves and hopefully one carer may see them once a month.”
“It’s all referral-based and we don’t advertise,” adds Jason. “A lot of it is through government agencies — the local hospital systems will do referrals to us, but we are getting more and more self-referrals. People that are homeless, a lot of them or most of them do have mobile phones and can google and find us that way.”
Since then they have expanded their capability for clients, adding the 12-bedroom wing that will be available for male domestic violence victims. Mr Loakes said he believed it would be only the second shelter nationally to house men suffering from domestic violence. The third shelter, Jeremiah’s House is also trying to get funding together to launch in Bundaberg, according to domestic violence advocacy group One in Three.