End homelessness for families

Family violence is the leading cause of homelessness in Australia.

Since 2012 we’ve seen an alarming annual increase of 10% in homelessness due to domestic and family violence. Every day, an average of 119 women are not able to have their housing support needs met in Australia.

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

That’s why, in an Australian first, Launch Housing has developed a life-changing housing initiative tackling homelessness for families.

Supportive Housing for Families in Dandenong

Nearing completion, Viv’s Place, Australia’s first supported housing initiative for families, will offer permanent homes, ongoing support and a strong community for women and children in desperate need of stability, support and a safe place to live.

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.

Based in Dandenong, in Melbourne’s outer south east, Viv’s Place will house residents across 60 well-designed, self-contained apartments in a new medium-high rise building.

Viv’s Place combines permanent housing with wraparound support services, providing a fresh start in life for more than 60 women and 130 children currently living in complex and potentially harmful circumstances.

In addition to 60 apartments, the building has a trauma-informed design with communal kitchen and living spaces, children’s play areas, offices, and community gardens. A 24-hour concierge will also operate to ensure safety and security, plus there will be medical suites, consulting rooms and office space available.

At the heart of Viv’s Place is the ability to assist residents through a holistic combination of housing and support. To deliver this initiative, Launch Housing has partnered with Uniting to support the residents with a range of support services. Families will have access to a full range of culturally appropriate, responsive support services including education, employment, health and wellbeing, parenting, counselling, and trauma care.

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

  • 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

Together

  • 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

Mothers cannot be reunited with their children until they have permanent, safe housing and we want to see children back with their parents, to ensure stable, happy, and productive lives.

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.

The first residents of Viv’s Place are expected to move into the building in the coming months.

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.

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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Families Supportive Housing: Construction nearing completion

Building is underway and incredible progress continues to be made since construction started in early 2021.

Families Support Housing: Donors & Partners

Launch Housing acknowledges the generous donors, and partners making this initiative a success.

Philanthropic Donors & The Victorian Government 

Martin Foley, MP| Robin Friday & Family |  Ian Potter Foundation | The Shine On Foundation | Gandel Philanthropy | Lord Mayor Charitable Foundation | ANMF: Australian Nursing Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) | Homes Victoria

Construction Partners 

Crema Group | Camillo Builders | Tango Projects | ARM Architects