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Funds raised to set up Fresh Start Fund

May 8, 2019

An initiative to provide women and children with the initial money they need to secure a private rental property and make it their home has received over $49,000 from The Funding Network.

The funds were raised during a ‘pitch’ night held by The Funding Network with Emerge receiving the much-needed funds to establish the Fresh Start Fund.

Beth Wallis, who delivered the pitch, said she was thrilled with the result and how engaged the audience was and ready to help create change.

The ‘pitch’ centred on Sarah* who felt safer sleeping in her car with her two young children, one of whom is disabled, than she did staying in her family home or in the motel that she was sent to by another family violence service provider.

“For women and children recovering from family violence finding safety in a high crisis, secure refuge, such as ours at Emerge, is an incredibly important first step. It’s a place they can escape to for the short term to start to feel safe and secure again, and rebuild as a family while being supported through our Outreach services.  Coming to our refuge means they don’t have to remain at home with violence or end up homeless,” Beth said.

However, for many women and children the next step in their recovery journey is to leave the refuge and to try to find a new home.

‘Public housing is challenging to secure as the waitlist is anywhere from 7 – 10 years, and when they try to secure a private rental property they need to find the immediate funds to cover the upfront costs, such as a month’s rent in advance and a security deposit,” Beth said.

This year Emerge has established the Fresh Start Fund to provide women with the initial money they need to secure a private rental property. Each fresh start costs $3,500.

The Fresh Start Fund will allow children to start a new life with less disruption and anxiety, safe and away from their perpetrator.

To help give a family a Fresh Start each family needs $3,500 to access the money they need to secure a new home.

“In Sarah’s case, we assisted her to find a new home and this led us to realise the tremendous impact it had on her family’s life, the kids have settled into their new school and started to make new friends,” Beth said.

Today, Sarah has gained the confidence to start her own cleaning business and is financially supporting her children on her own.  Sarah wouldn’t have been able to start her business while living in her car.

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