End homelessness for families

Family violence is the leading cause of homelessness in Australia.

Women escaping family violence make up 40% of all people seeking homelessness services in Victoria. Up to 12% of these women are also seeking help for children.

Homelessness due to domestic and family violence has increased by 10% annually.

This is the reality facing thousands of people in a housing crisis in Australia.

That’s why Launch Housing developed a life-changing solution for families experiencing homelessness.

Supportive Housing for Families in Dandenong

Viv’s Place, an Australian-first apartment building for women and children at risk of homelessness, is now officially open.

Viv’s Place provides permanent homes, ongoing support and a strong community for women and children in desperate need of stability and a safe place to live.

It provides a unique combination of permanent housing and onsite wrap-around support services for up to 60 women and 130 children escaping family and domestic violence and homelessness. Poverty and family violence are constant pressures that push many women into the impossible position of raising a family without a stable home. Viv’s Place brings security, safety, and the opportunity to start afresh.

At the heart of Viv’s Place is the ability to support residents through a holistic combination of housing and support under the one roof.

In addition to the 60 apartments, the building’s design is trauma-informed with communal kitchen and living spaces, children’s play areas, offices, and community gardens. Viv’s Place is supported by 24-hour residential engagement managers to ensure safety and security, – and also has onsite medical suites, consulting rooms and office space.

Families have access to a full range of culturally appropriate, responsive support services including education, employment, health and wellbeing, parenting, counselling, and trauma care.

From the first day families move into Viv’s Place, they have a safe and permanent home to recover and rebuild, access to the support they need and the opportunity to put down roots and participate in the local community.

To deliver this initiative, Launch Housing has partnered with Uniting Vic.Tas, to support residents with a range of services.



  • Putting the needs of clients at the centre of everything we do
  • Listening to the lived experience of people who have experienced homelessness
  • Working together collaboratively to meet agreed project outcomes
  • Clear and consistent communication with stakeholders and the community
  • Evaluation and continuous improvement of the model


Launch Housing

  • Property and tenancy management services
  • 24-hour concierge with controlled access for safety and security
  • Community building initiatives
  • Strong community processes to build and nurture the Viv’s Place community


Uniting Victoria and Tasmania

  • A range of specialist therapeutic support aimed at breaking cycles of abuse and neglect
  • Family violence case management, group work and children’s counselling
  • On-site children’s group work
  • Clinical psychological services

By providing permanent, safe and affordable housing for women and their children Viv’s Place aims to:

  • Connect women and their children to the local area and community
  • Increase women’s capacity and confidence in parenting their children
  • Improve children’s early childhood development and educational outcomes
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of families
  • Strengthen social connections and community involvement
  • Support engagement in education, training and employment opportunities.
Secure, self-contained apartments.
Secure, self-contained apartments.
A play space for children to enjoy.
A play space for children to enjoy.
A communal outdoor area for families to enjoy.
A communal outdoor area for families to enjoy.

Why Viv’s Place?

Viv’s Place is named Vivienne McCutcheon who in 1964 was part of a small group of passionate social justice activists set up Hanover Welfare Services, one of Launch Housing’s predecessor organisations. Viv was Hanover’s first qualified social worker and this new facility has been named in honour of her contributions.

One family’s gift to change someone’s world

Robin and Mary Lou generously gave the profits from their family home to help this innovative Melbourne-based project tackling homelessness. There is hope for families. A home for all can be a reality.

Donors and Partners

Viv’s Place would not have been possible without support from the Victorian Government and the generosity of our major philanthropic supporters:

  • Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch)
  • Ian Potter Foundation
  • Robin and Mary Lou and the Friday-Ferrell-Hudson-Maher Family
  • Gandel Foundation
  • Shine On Foundation
  • Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
  • Regenerate

With the generosity of:

  • The William Angliss Charitable Fund
  • The Pierce Armstrong Foundation
  • Gill Family Foundation
  • Rotary
  • and many generous individuals, families who would like to remain anonymous.

Construction Partners:

  • Crema Group
  • Camillo Builders
  • Tango Projects
  • ARM Architects

Inspired by New York’s Sugar Hill

“The Sugar Hill project, an affordable housing initiative developed and run by New York based organisation Broadway Housing Communities, inspired this project. Over the past 30 years, this organisation has delivered permanent housing to thousands of mothers and children. It has successfully created communities at each of its sites, where everyone receives the support and assistance they need to live independent, stable lives. Broadway Housing Communities take pride in partnering with specialist services to ensure every resident receives the best possible assistance.”

This is a first-of-its-kind Australian housing initiative for women and children.

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