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].
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”.
To find out more about Open Support's Domestic and Family Violence Services, go to: https://opensupport.org.au/domestic-violence/