Living with dignity, free from violence

Despite the challenges of the housing crisis and the increasing cost of living, there are good news stories to share. The Immigrant Women SpeakOut Association (SpeakOut) in Sydney is achieving remarkable results in ending homelessness. A Grant to End Homelessness was awarded to SpeakOut to support migrant women living in crisis accommodation who have experienced domestic violence, have no financial support and limited English skills, to become financially independent and break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

With one-on-one, culturally specific support from a dedicated caseworker, SpeakOut helps women leaving abuse to address the trauma of their past. SpeakOut offers assistance with preparing resumes, job search, interview coaching, financial counselling, skills development, English language support, personal styling and more.

The Work Placement and Support Officer has developed relationships with potential employers and provides individualised support to these women. Collaborations with Dress for Success, TAFE, Macquarie Uni, Vinnies’ and other organisations have created new opportunities and pathways.

So far, 19 women have been assisted, seven women have secured employment and one woman has set up her own business. Eight women have moved into long term housing.

Staff noted a marked increase in women’s confidence and outlook on life as they start to envision a new future. We congratulate SpeakOut for their efforts in ending homelessness and the positive change they are bringing to women’s lives.

Sunila Kotwal, Executive Director at SpeakOut and Amelia Chadwick, Work Placement and Support Officer