Supporting single homeless women to return to a resilient phase of their lives is at the heart of the work of the Wellington Homeless Women’s Trust (WHWT), and an example of the innovation displayed within the not-for-profit sector.

Prior to the establishment of the WHWT, accommodation for single homeless women in Wellington was simply not included in criteria for funding and service delivery.

The result was a dearth of housing for women often fleeing family violence and who needed a safe environment to rebuild their lives.

 “The women we see in many cases have often escaped violent or mentally harmful relationships, leaving behind all their belongings, and there is a great deal of trauma to work through”.

Three years on and WHWT has demonstrated its effectiveness in turning around the lives of women coming through their door.

“I arrived feeling like a nobody, but suddenly I was given time to plan ahead and think about me. You can do so much when you have peace of mind”

“I have had the opportunity to start healing, to stand up, to start to like myself, to start to make plans for the future”

“I didn’t want to stay the way I was and they gave me the ‘oomph’ I needed to change and to take steps out of my depression”

“Being here has saved me”

“The Trust staff went out of their way again and again to support me. They got me organised with my benefit, set up doctor’s and counselling appointments, helped me with my probation—they were my advocates’” – Former tenants

There is a lot happening in the policy space to reduce family violence. However, accessing funding to deliver practical supports such as housing for single women to leave abusive relationships remains fraught.

As foundation member of WHWT, Sister Marcellin, puts it

without our loyal donor support the important service provided by the Wellington Homeless Women’s trust would falter”.

The on-the-ground reality is that few agencies or businesses have as their criteria the needs of the homeless, let alone homeless women.

Let’s change that and get behind the achievements of the WHWT!

To find out more about how you can support the trust go to the give a little website or if you would like to make a corporate donation contact WHWT directly <whwt@gmail.com> or Kiwi Bank   38-9014-0567519-01 for direct payment.

Previous Policy Watch Posts on WHWT:

Restoring faith in humanity : Patricia’s story

The Wellington Homeless Women’s Trust: recognising a hidden group of women