YWCA National Housing works in partnership with government, not-for-profit and corporate organisations to create more affordable accommodation options and better integrated services for our tenants.
We are looking for new opportunities to partner with other organisations to increase the supply of safe, affordable housing for women on low income. Please contact us if you are interested.
Case Study: Partnership with Two Good
Our partnership with social enterprise Two Good began in 2017 with the organization supplying over 1,000 meals to the women in our housing through their “eat one, treat one” business model. This means that for every nutritious, organic, restaurant quality meal purchased, Two Good give an identical one to a woman living in a refuge.
After the establishment of our ‘pop up’ shelter the Lakehouse in South Melbourne, Two Good began using the commercial kitchen at the Lakehouse. They use this to cook their own meals and also offer employment to women who are homeless to assist the head chef. These employment opportunities have helped to increase confidence, skills and financial wellbeing of the tenants involved.
Two Good have also continued to work with us to provide healthy meals each week to the women living in our other properties and have implemented a monthly community meal for all the women living in the Lakehouse. Over 20 of our tenants also enjoyed a special Two Good dinner at Rockpool in 2019.
Case Study: Partnership with Monash University
Since 2017, we have partnered with Monash University in an innovative student-directed social work program to reduce social isolation and improve the wellbeing of our tenants in Victorian rooming houses. This program aligns well with YWCA’s goal of supporting female students with hands-on training and education.
In November 2019, this unique partnership and program won PowerHousing Australia’s National Award for Excellence in Tenant Engagement and Social Inclusion.
The program focuses on building a sense of safety, community, and providing emotional support and integrated services for our tenants.
This is achieved through student-led group activities, a clinic offering free short-term social work interventions, and the development of localised resident resource booklets.
Brenda* was a tenant who benefited from this program. She needed new dentures and was put in contact with a local community health service who provided a free dental examination and a voucher for dentures. Social work students also helped Brenda apply for financial assistance, and she was able to get new dentures at little cost as a result.
Claire* was a tenant who was looking to re-join the workforce but was struggling with creating her resume. The social work students gave advice on resume design and how to talk about transferable skills. Claire was more positive about her career prospects following this assistance.
The program has been particularly successful in helping residents to build and maintain community and social connections, and to feel equipped in handling life’s challenges. This integrated service model provides women not only with safe and affordable housing, but also with referrals to additional supports to build their futures.
Regular evaluations conducted after each student placement has shown that over 85% of residents who responded felt more socially connected and emotionally supported after the program. Over 65% also felt more encouraged in resolving different problems in life, and felt more confident to handle conflicts with other residents.
We look forward to continuing our partnership with Monash University, and improving the wellbeing of our tenants.
*Not their real name