Homeless women miss safe place

Parramatta Mission has called on the community to help raise $1 million to buy a house for western Sydney's homeless women before the year's end. Picture: Karleen Minney.

Parramatta Mission has called on the community to help raise $1 million to buy a house for western Sydney's homeless women before the year's end. Picture: Karleen Minney.

Parramatta Mission has called on the community to help raise $1 million to buy a house for western Sydney’s homeless women.Parramatta Mission’s Reverend Keith Hamilton, 58, said there is currently no crisis accommodation in western Sydney for homeless women, despite a dire need for such a facility.

Parramatta Mission has called on the community to help raise $1 million to buy a house for western Sydney’s homeless women.Parramatta Mission’s Reverend Keith Hamilton, 58, said there is currently no crisis accommodation in western Sydney for homeless women, despite a dire need for such a facility.

PARRAMATTA Mission has called on the community to help raise $1 million to buy a house for western Sydney's homeless women before year's end.

Parramatta Mission's Reverend Keith Hamilton said there was a lack of crisis accommodation for homeless women in western Sydney, despite dire need.

Although some accommodation for homeless women exists in the region, including Our Lady of the Way at Merrylands for women over 50, Kelly's Cottages and the Thelma Brown crisis cottage for women with children, Mr Hamilton said there was none in the crisis category for women under 50 without children.

"There are some in the inner-city, but they are at capacity," he said.

"Crisis accommodation is when the person has no furniture and someone prepares meals for them. The situation is far more acute."

Mr Hamilton, who lives in Wentworthville, said Parramatta Mission turned seven to 10 women a week away from its bedsit facility for single homeless women, Kelly's Cottages at North Parramatta, due to a lack of space. He said the facility was not considered crisis accommodation as it did not include 24-hour on-site support.

"What we want to do in the short-term is buy a house somewhere in the greater Parramatta area where we would provide crisis accommodation for women and have staff 24/7. In the long term, we'd have purpose-built accommodation for somewhere around 20 to 25 women."

Parramatta Mission will hold a gala dinner on June 27 to begin fund-raising for the women's home.

"I'd like to encourage people to buy tickets," Mr Hamilton said. "We need a million dollars to start. For the long-term accommodation we'd need about $8 to $10 million.

■ Details: parramattamission.org.au.

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