“Homelessness is not the cause of personal failings. The main cause of homelessness are poverty, unaffordable rents, and family violence.”

With the support of Stockland Shellharbour, Lake Illawarra Police and Land and Housing Corporation, SAHSSI Illawarra ran a small community project for women within our specialist homelessness service who are on Newstart (with a focus on single women or single women with one child).

SAHSSI were grateful to secure a $1,000 grant from Stockland Shellharbour and with this money we purchased 34 Russell Hob slow cookers! Our case managers put together a book of our favourite budget slow cooking recipes. We then partnered with the Lake Illawarra Police to stand outside Woolworths on the 5th August during homelessness week to raise awareness and to seek appropriate food donations to go with our slow cookers. The Police supported with many giveaways for families including rainbow face painting for the children.

During Homelessness Week we were also asked to present to Land and Housing Corporation’s (LAHC) staff roadshow (with 100 LAHC staff present from mostly the Southern regions). Business Development Officer, Jacqui Brooker presented to raise awareness to the challenges and barriers faced for our clients as well as raising awareness to the valuable services we provide. The presentation was warmly received and as a thank you, LAHC also wanted to know how they could support. They donated food to help us with our slow cooker initiative and the Deputy Secretary for LAHC, Anne Skewes is also now planning a visit to our LAHC owned refuges in September.

All of the slow cookers and food were distributed by our case managers and warmly received by our clients. One women had fled domestic violence in Campbelltown, secured a private rental granny flat in Figtree and was extremely thankful for the slow cooker as she has no oven in her granny flat and it has enabled her to cook full healthy meals for herself.