Safe Haven Community Founder, Denise Hunter grew up in a farming environment with strong community connections in the beautiful Fassifern Valley area of the Scenic Rim in South East Queensland. The eldest of five children, life for Denise was tough but fun and it was this upbringing that inspired her to found the Safe Haven Community concept in October 2015 in response to disturbing statistics about the severe shortage of available housing for people fleeing domestic and family abuse. She heard that Domestic Violence call centres were receiving around 56,000 incoming calls every month and that around 18,000 were going unanswered. Her immediate thought was ‘Well even if they had answered them, where were they going to put them all?’ That night, unable to sleep she decided she would do something about it.
We help refuges and shelters find new accommodation options for guests who no longer need such a high level of support. This makes room for new high priority cases to enter the refuge and access the critical services they need.
Often when people ring the Domestic Violence call centres they are in immediate danger or crisis. They have high risk and complex needs that need to be addressed by highly qualified and fully trained professionals from the DV and homelessness sectors. These people need to be placed in a refuge or shelter. For safety reasons it would not be appropriate to place these people in a private community home.
Typically, after around 12 weeks in a refuge or shelter, the person’s highest needs will have been addressed and their personal risk will be much lower and they will be able to self-manage. This is when the person is eligible to be considered for a Safe Haven Community placement. NOTE: The person must have been confirmed low risk by a qualified Risk Assessment Worker or Case Manager.
Some people may wish to approach Safe Haven Community directly as they do not think they are high risk enough to bother the already overloaded DV and homelessness call centres, or they may have already been turned away by some service providers as they do not fit the criteria for that particular service provider. In situations such as this, Safe Haven Community will offer a Case Manager and conduct our own risk assessment. If the person’s individual risk is deemed to be low and therefore not putting the potential Guest or any of our Accommodation Providers at risk of harm then we may be able to assist in the provision of a community placement.
PLEASE NOTE: We do not guarantee the provision of any accommodation or other services if we are not comfortable with our perceived level of risk. Safety for all Guests and Accommodation Providers is our highest priority.
There is always a safe place to stay for people wishing to leave an abusive relationship. People no longer have to wait until they are in extreme danger of physical violence or homelessness before they qualify for assistance.
All Guests are assessed by a fully trained professional to understand their personal situation and support requirements during their stay. This includes initial and ongoing risk assessment, needs assessment, personal safety plan, and an exit strategy. Appointed Case Managers will work with the Guest to address all needs and will make referrals to other agencies and support services where appropriate.
The safety of our guests and Accommodation poviders is our highest priority
All Registered Accommodation Providers are vetted, ID checked and police checked and are fully supported by Safe Haven to provide a positive and supporting environment for their Guests. All of our Guests are encouraged to complete confidential feedback forms to let us know if there are issues with any of our Accommodation Providers. Any issues relating to inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with immediately and may cause a Provider to be suspended or removed from our database.
We adhere strictly to our organisational policy and procedure documents and protocols to ensure the highest level of accountability and transparency at all times throughout the entire organisation. This also includes our Referral Agencies, Case Managers, Accommodation Providers, Guests and any Volunteers.
policies and proceedures
Our policies and procedures meet or exceed industry standards and were built in conjunction with the following documents;
QLD Government – Human Services Quality Framework
QLD Government – Practice Standards for Working with Women Affected by Domestic and Family Violence
Victorian Government, Department of Human Services – Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (CRAF) and Practice Guides
NSW Govt – DV Safety Assessment Tool
Australian Govt – Screening, Risk Assessment and Safety Planning Paper
Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission – Guideline on Family Violence Services and Accommodation
Australian Standards AS ISO 10002 – 2006 Customer Satisfaction – Guidelines for complaints handling in organisations
Residential tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008
Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Our organisational values guide all aspects of our charity and interactions with clients and stakeholders. They help us build a strong team foundation and an even stronger charity culture
projected outcomes for next 12 months
Safe Haven Community will provide 10,000 nights of accommodation to women, men, children and pets in a supported and nurturing private community home
Establish 500 Safe Haven Community providers across Australia
Reach and maintain capacity of 18,000 nights per year of accommodation
Provide safety for 1250 individuals per year (average 14 night stay)