Safe Haven Safe House Reopens

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. After having to close over the Christmas period because of damage caused by the severe hailstorm late last year, Open Support's Domestic Violence crisis accommodation Safe Haven has reopened its doors and is even better than before.

Damage was severe.  The tirade of golf ball sized hail that struck the building on December 21 led to an emergency evacuation. The storm caused partial ceiling collapses in the upper floor and sadly, the water damage was extensive throughout the building and most of the furniture and contents also had to be discarded.

Safe Haven had four families staying at the time of the disaster and the event was particularly frightening for the children. The Safe Haven team however, did an amazing job in arranging for emergency hotel accommodation and ensuring all families were safe whilst emergency services attended to securing the building and preventing further water damage.

In the weeks following, staff came together and performed the daunting task of packing up the entire contents of the house in preparation for the building work. Staff worked tirelessly to continue to support the clients and ensure their needs were met.

The flexibility and dedication of the Safe Haven team in ensuring the continuation of a high quality service to clients was a true demonstration of compassion in action. Whilst not ideal for families with young children, suitable self-contained apartments were obtained and staff provided ongoing outreach support to the families on location. They assisted with day-to-day tasks like shopping and transport and continued to provide a comprehensive domestic and family violence support service throughout the time.

Despite the unfortunate timing of the disaster that led into the Christmas and New Year period, the team of builders and tradesman responsible for repairs also did a fantastic job making the property like new again. Repairs were completed significantly ahead of schedule and went above and beyond what was expected. The facility now has brand new flooring throughout, new ceilings and roofing, fresh paint and a brand new set of stairs [before and after pictured below].


before and after safe haven

The team is now in the process of putting the finishing touches on our revamped facility. Thanks to some very generous donations from the Sebastian Foundation and from Koala Mattresses, the house is now refurnished. Both staff and clients were thrilled to be able to return to Safe Haven in early February. Whilst the alternate accommodation was comfortable and adequate, clients missed the unique and homely environment created at Safe Haven. One little boy on returning said “I am so happy to be home…this is my home now”.

See SBS News article

To find out more about Open Support's Domestic and Family Violence Services, go to: