New funding enables crisis accommodation to stay open
With COVID hitting Canberra’s homeless hard, CatholicCare has welcomed an ACT Government injection of funding to help those sleeping rough.
About 1600 people are homeless in the ACT on any given night, with single women over 50 the fastest-growing group.
During the next two years, the government will inject $1.2 million towards funding CatholicCare-run MacKillop House and the Axial Housing services, part of an additional $2.6 million for the ACT’s homelessness sector.
CatholicCare CEO Anne Kirwan said COVID had heightened the need for financial support in the homelessness sector.
“Suddenly, people on the streets were required to self-isolate, which is very hard when you do not have a home,” she said.
In 2020, ACT’s homelessness sector worked together to find new ways to support people who were sleeping rough. Several initiatives emerged, including opening MacKillop House, which provides emergency accommodation to homeless women.
Inspired by Mary MacKillop, CatholicCare saw a need for crisis accommodation for women.
“We put our faith in our mission, and luckily, we have secured funding to keep operating till June 2022,” Anne said.
“In the ACT, just over 40,000 families live below the poverty line. That is unacceptable.”
The additional funding will also be used to expand CatholicCare’s run Axial Housing service program, ensuring that people with high and complex support needs can access permanent accommodation and move off the streets.