A proposed state-of-the-art domestic violence crisis centre for women and children in Orange has received a $900,000 funding boost from the state government.
It means that with existing funding from the federal government, Orange City Council, corporate and community groups the crisis centre project is now about $800,000 short of its just-over $3 million target.
David Fisher, chief executive officer of Housing Plus which is running the project, said the funding announcement was great news.
Mr Fisher said they were now awaiting news of a funding application of about $700,000 through the state government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund (SCCF) which should be known by August.
“We now have about $2.2 million so we are a little bit short,” he said.
“If were successful in getting that fund [the SCCF] we would be able to start work on the site.”
He said two potential sites in Orange had been identified for the crisis centre.
Mr Fisher said that once the funding target was met and planning approval was granted they hoped to start work in December and have the centre completed and operating in 12 months.
He said the crisis centre would be a state-first and a model for the NSW.
It would have a community services core surrounded by six interchangeable two-bedroom villas which could be reconfigured to suit different family sizes.
Mr Fisher said it was expected families in crisis would stay for up to 12 weeks at the centre.
“Independent units will give families privacy and space to recover and re-establish their routines, while on-site services will help women to overcome the crisis, plan for the future and achieve safe and appropriate long-term accommodation,” he said.
“Violence against women and their children is a deeply entrenched and serious problem, particularly in Orange where the rate of assault is double the state average.”
He said Housing Plus would continue fund-raising efforts including the White Tie Ball on Saturday May 12 at the Orange Ex-Services’ Club.
The state government funding was provided from a $4 million ‘core and cluster’ fund announced on Tuesday by Pru Goward, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Social Housing and the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.