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Merger will increase capacity to serve homeless

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The merger of two organisations that support South Australian women at risk of or experiencing homelessness to access safe, affordable housing and recovery services is expected to provide even greater capacity to help the growing number of people in need.

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Housing Choices South Australia (Housing Choices) and Catherine House today announced they will merge, saying they can do more for women by working as one organisation than they can separately.

Julie Duncan, General Manager Housing Choices, and Linda Matthews, CEO Catherine House, said the merger would build on the partnership that has developed between the two organisations over the past decade.

“Improving access to permanent housing will help alleviate the stress some of our clients face when they need to move because they are living in crisis accommodation. This will give women more time to focus on their recovery and prepare for their future,” Ms Matthews said.

“By working together, we will be better able to help the growing number of women, particularly older women experiencing homelessness, to access safe, quality, affordable long-term housing.”

Both organisations share a proud history of providing housing and support services.

Catherine House has been providing crisis accommodation and support services for women in SA since 1988. Housing Choices is a national not-for-profit housing organisation with nearly 7000 social and affordable homes for 8500 residents across Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia.

“Housing Choices also run the internationally recognised Common Ground program, an intensive homelessness support response helping people to secure housing, sustain a tenancy, and improve their health and wellbeing,” Ms Duncan said.

“With our experience in providing longer-term and permanent supportive housing and the specialist expertise at Catherine House in trauma and recovery practices, our goal is a more holistic support and recovery service for women exiting homelessness.

“We will work to provide women a pathway into stable housing, while continuing to access Catherine House’s recovery-based support services.”

Both organisations will retain their names, with Housing Choices to take on the management of Catherine House from the start of 2021, subject to relevant consents being obtained.

For now, it will be ‘business as usual’ as Catherine House will continue to provide recovery-based services for women experiencing homelessness.

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