Mary’s House has now been open for 15 months. In that time we have directly helped 20 women and their families with a safe haven for an average of three months and facilitated them to start a new life. We continue to support a number of these women through our ongoing outreach program. Through our intake and referral process we have helped a further 100 women find appropriate support. Each day we refer at least one women on to the appropriate service for them.
Just prior to Christmas we helped two of our residents start the next phase of their lives, in a new safe home for themselves and their families. As with any new home, this is an exciting but nerve wracking time for everyone involved. After helping our resident find a suitable property, we then provide all the necessities for their new home – from beds and fridges, through to knives and forks. This is where our Mary’s House family truly comes to the fore. Vinnies are incredibly supportive, delivering new and preloved furniture for the new home. We have many individual and corporate donors who provide our “starter packs” – these cover all the essential “smaller” household items like an iron, clothes airer, cleaning equipment, linen, saucepans and kitchen items, and the list goes on!
Each week, we provide the residents of Mary’s House with the basic consumables of food and groceries. Some of this is provided by our regular corporate donors: Bourke St Bakery, Sunrice, Reckitt Benckiser, Chemist Warehouse, Coca Cola Amatil, Two Good, Our Big Kitchen, Harris Farm and Jahnus. Other regular items are purchased through money provided by our generous donors. In the past month we have received donations from over 75 wonderful Mary’s House Family donors.
These donations also enable us to help our residents with ad hoc expenses. Since our last newsletter we have purchased new school shoes for a resident, opal cards for new residents, supported one of our residents with tafe fees to enable her to retrain and provided school uniforms and supplies, amongst other things.
As you can see, operating Mary’ s House is a busy and all encompassing role. We are very grateful to all who contribute to this – our volunteers, our donors and the other supporters of our extended family.