Nova for Women and Children is the amalgamation of Eva's Project, Lower Hunter Women's Housing and Eastlake's Women's and Children's Refuge.
The three women's services operated independently from each other in Newcastle for approximately 25 years until Evas Project and Lower Hunter Women's housing services amalgamated in July 2008 and in 2014 Eastlake's Women's and Children's Refuge joined Nova, following the Specialist Homeless Services (SHS ) reforms.
Eva's Project originated through the women's refuge movement where it was identified that domestic violence was a major contributor to homelessness for women with dependent children. It was seen that there was a gap for women that required supported accommodation.
Lower Hunter Women's Housing was an initiative of Housing NSW that considered women with or without dependent children who were homeless or at risk of homelessness with complex needs required supported transitional accommodation.
Eastlakes Women's and Children's Refuge started as a volunteer organisation. Government funding was secured through the women's refuge movement and indicated recognition of the validity of the organisation in delivering domestic violence and homelessness services. Over time the service secured two purpose built premises in the Lake Macquarie region for crisis services.
The services brought together a rich history of working with women who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness and/or escaping domestic violence.
In 2015 Nova for Women and Children called a community meeting for a response to the growing issue of women and children becoming homeless in the region. This meeting resulted in the Respectus Group being formed. Respectus sourced a disused student accommodation site that required extensive renovation and refurbishment. A call was again put out to the community and it responded magnanimously with labour and goods provided free of charge from local businesses (including John Cootes and Bunnings) to Clubs (Rotary and Lions) to individuals. The building was named Trisha House in memory of a woman who's life was tragically taken by her ex-partner and we proudly display a beautiful artwork created by her sister in memory of Trisha in our meeting room at the site. Trisha House can now offer crisis accommodation to 7 single women and 4 women with children for up to 28 days and also has a 2 bedroom unit which we can use exclusivley for women exiting a mental health facility for up to 6 months to help with the adjustment to life back in the community. Trisha House was officially opened at a launch attended by Sharon Claydon MP and Sonia Hornery MP on 4th March 2017. Nova for Women and Children have subsequently won the Australia Day Community Group of the Year Award for Newcastle City 2018 largely because of our endeavour to join with the community to provide this safe haven for local women and children.
A very special thanks go to Girl Friday and Got Your Back Sista for their support and assistance to create warm and welcoming sanctuaries for the women and children of our community.
Nova for women and children is based upon a feminist philosophy and is guided by the principles of social justice that are;
We will work with you to make sure you receive the best possible assistance to avoid becoming homeless or, if you are homeless, to access safe, affordable and secure housing.
We are committed to working with you in a respectful way that protects your dignity, is fair, and does not discriminate.
As a client of a specialist homelessness service you have a responsibility to:
To access our Client Charter poster, click here.