A campaign to answer Katherine's dire need for short stay accommodation has fallen on deaf ears again.
The Federal Government yesterday announced $60 million funding for 700 new "safe places" for women and children escaping domestic violence to be built across the country.
But Katherine has missed out.
Salvation Army NT is receiving $4.3 million from the safe place initiative to support around 196 women and children.
Katherine Times has learned today from the Salvation Army that money "only applies" to Catherine Booth House, a short term crisis accommodation centre in Darwin.
In July, 19 of Katherines leading business, local government and community sector organisations joined forces, calling for the development of short stay accommodation in Katherine, to tackle the high homelessness rates.
Katherine remains in a housing crisis with more people homeless, per capita, than anywhere else in Australia.
While the push was initially focused on the NT elections, the campaign sought funding from any source, including the Federal Government.
Signatories to a joint statement included Kalano Community Association, Katherine Town Council, Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory, the Australian Medical Association, Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service, Binjari Community Aboriginal Corporation, Aboriginal Housing NT, Anglicare NT, Banatjarl Strongbala Wimun Grup, CatholicCare NT, Jesuit Social Services, Katherine Womens Crisis Centre, Mission Australia, Northern Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, The Salvation Army, Save the Children, Somerville Community Services, TeamHealth, and NT Shelter.
While emergency or relief housing exists for young or elderly clients, Katherine remains without any free short-stay accommodation for 20-55 years olds.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston and Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services Luke Howarth announced 40 projects would be funded, supporting about 6000 women and children each year.
Projects include building new two and three bedroom homes, transforming office buildings into self-contained apartments and establishing small group homes.
Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said this was an important investment to improve access to suitable accommodation for women and their children.
"The first priority of the Morrison Government is to keep Australians safe and secure but, sadly, we know that home is not safe for many women and children," Minister Ruston said.
"When women make the decision to leave it is vital that they have somewhere safe to go. This increase in emergency accommodation will support thousands of women and children as they rebuild their lives free of violence."
Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services Luke Howarth said, tragically, family and domestic violence was a leading cause of homelessness for women and children.
"These new places will not only ensure women and children have somewhere safe to sleep but will also provide access to specialist family and domestic violence services to help create real and lasting change in their lives," Assistant Minister Howarth said.
"Importantly about half of these places will be remote and regional communities supporting those who have had limited safe housing options.
"The Government also favoured projects which provide longer term, self-contained emergency accommodation which will give women and their children increased stability."
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