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After building through the uncertainty of Covid-19, Haven House Ruth has launched in Queensland – a beautiful space offering refuge to women and children impacted by domestic violence.

Dianne Gipey – The Salvation Army Family Violence State Manager for the Northern Territory and Queensland, talks to us about the opening of Haven House Ruth on the Sunshine Coast, the Property Industry Foundation’s latest Haven House project, restoring dignity and healing to women escaping domestic violence.

“The team are very excited about the launch and can’t wait open up Ruth House to clients,”

Dianne Gipey – The Salvation Army Family Violence State Manager

What does Haven House Ruth offer in terms of being a safe, secure and welcoming home for families?

Architect John Cary once said that: “Well-designed spaces are not just a matter of taste or a question of aesthetics, they literally shape our ideas about who we are in the world and what we deserve.” Haven House Ruth will help restore dignity to women and children who have been mostly stripped of it. The inviting space will allow them to seek healing and restoration.

Haven House Ruth

How critical is the need for accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence in Queensland?

Last year Queensland police responded to 113,779 domestic violence (DV) cases from July to the end of March. This gives you an indication of how big the issue of family violence is. The majority of victims/survivors are females with children and feel they have no other choice but to leave in order to be safe. There is never enough accommodation to support such huge numbers of women and children and more often than not women also feel that they have no choice but to go into to unsafe situations. That may include living in their car, couch surfing or going back to the family home due to lack of alternative accommodation.

Sad woman

How does DV lead to homelessness?

Domestic Family Violence (DFV) is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children. When a victim/survivor leaves a violent relationship, it often means leaving the family home. Their options are usually limited: the perpetrator may control finances and their capacity to work may have been diminished by the violence. They may have had to leave their immediate living area for safety reasons. Due to the lack of housing stock and affordable rentals the women and children may end up homeless.

What is the Salvation Army's vision for Haven House Ruth and what programs will be run there?

Our vision is that young women with or without children will be able to come to Ruth House and be safe. They will be able to access specialist youth support programs as well as specialist Family Violence programs.

How does your partnership with the Property Industry Foundation allow for vulnerable Australians to rebuild their lives?

Without this partnership with the Property Industry Foundation, we would not be able to provide safe and secure crisis accommodation to an extra three single young women or a young woman with children, who will then be provided with wrap around services and supported to move into longer term accommodation.

About Ruth House:

Haven House Ruth is safe and welcoming three-bedroom home on the Sunshine Coast, designed to accommodate women and their children escaping domestic violence. The home was built by Saltair Modular – award-winning designers and builders who provide Queensland families with innovative, quality modular home designs.

Other supporters and suppliers of Haven House Ruth include Build-Apps, King Living and Milliken.

Want to help at-risk Aussies recover their dignity and put their lives back on track? Volunteer, get involved or donate to Haven Projects here

Haven House Ruth