August 30, 2016
The new home for Karinya House for Mothers and Babies was officially opened today, 31 August 2016, by the ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr. The $4.45 million dollar new development will provide purpose built facilities to improve services to mothers and babies through the Specialist Homelessness Services Strategy and the Step up for Kids Out of Home Care Strategy.
Karinya House is humbled and privileged to be the first lessee of this wonderful complex and we hope to remain the lessees for many years to come. The ACT Government have created a valuable community asset which in its first tenure to Karinya House will provide beautiful homes and places of support for pregnant and parenting women. Karinya House provides supported accommodation, transitional housing, outreach, support groups and casework services to pregnant and parenting women and their families who are in crisis. The opening of this new purpose built facility will support Karinya House to consolidate and improve the services they provide to the community.
The Karinya House Association has held this vision for many years, since the inception of our services in September 1997, entirely established by the community for the community. In 2009 with both of our residential ACT Housing properties full to capacity on a continual basis, we forwarded a proposal to the ACT Government outlining the vision of an enhanced physical location for our service. We thank the Chief Minister, and former Chief Ministers as well as other members of the Legislative Assembly for their support over so many years since our inception in 1997.
The ACT Government provides recurrent funding for components of the Karinya services through the Specialist Homelessness Services Strategy and the Step up for Kids Out of Home Care Strategy. We enjoy a positive and constructive working relationship with the ACT Government and we extend our thanks to all Ministers and Staff.
Karinya House is a local, grass roots, community based organisation with almost 50% of its annual operating costs being supported each year by recurring donations from the Canberra Community. This same community support has ensured the fit out of this facility to the highest quality. We have been overwhelmed by the support of so many throughout this project and we thank all the community partners and volunteers involved in this project.
We commend and thank the members of the Canberra and Regional community who continue to support Karinya House through annual recurring donations. As stated almost 50% of our annual operating costs come from recurring and annual donations from business, families and individuals in the Canberra region (and beyond). This facility will double residential capacity and there will also be an impost on annual operating costs. We encourage members of the Canberra community to remain or become Friends of this expanding and vital service.
The most important aspect of this project is the purpose of this facility. This complex will be home for pregnant and parenting women in our community who are without many of the supports in life that we take for granted. 50% of women supported by Karinya House are homeless. 63% of women present with histories of family violence. Every day we witness great courage and tenacity. We are privileged to be part of their stories.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land upon which the facility resides, the Ngunnawal people. We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We would also like to acknowledge other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may be associated with Karinya House.