For more than 30 years, a small and dedicated team in Western Sydney has been empowering young mothers and mums-to-be to break the cycle of domestic violence and homelessness. Source: Catholic Outlook
Houses to Homes, a service of CatholicCare Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, has been providing transitional housing and emotional and practical support to young women who have nowhere else to turn.
“In most cases, the young women have come from very difficult situations,” Houses to Homes manager Louise Masters explained. “Sometimes, they might decide not to tell anyone where they are.
“Very often, they have no family or friends to stay with, so finding them safe, affordable housing is our number one priority, along with making sure they feel safe and have all the basic necessities and skills to care for their baby.”
Ms Masters, a registered nurse and midwife, and a team of six provide care to more than 100 homeless women between the ages of 16 and 25, and their children, each year.
Ms Masters said that when some girls first arrive at Houses to Homes, they are a bit cautious and are wary of motherhood, having come from difficult backgrounds. But over time the team is able to learn how the women got into their situation and help them learn to get out of it.
“I think it’s not judging and persisting and believing that everybody should be allowed to have a try, and our mothers have been able to do it well,” she said.
The Parramatta Catholic Foundation’s Bishop’s Christmas Appeal is raising funds for Houses to Homes to support pregnant and at-risk young mothers. Details: Bishop's Christmas Appeal
Houses to Homes supporting young pregnant women with ‘no strings attached’ (By Mary Brazell, Catholic Outlook)