Candidate for Lord Mayor Jennifer Yang today announced that if elected she will build a new crisis accommodation centre for women and children in the heart of the City of Melbourne.
The new Centre will be named in honour of Robert John Maguire AM RFD, who is universally known as Father Bob.
Father Bob’s Refuge for Women and Children will provide crisis accommodation for women and their children. According to experts, this is a particularly vulnerable category of homeless people who need accommodation so as to stabilise prior to being transitioned into permanent housing.
Supported by the Salvation Army, this initiative will also see support services provided onsite, with a particular focus on family violence intervention and providing education continuity during periods of family turmoil.
The proposed site for the refuge is 602 Little Bourke St, a seven storey building built in 1955, that is currently utilised for Council archives and storage. It is well suited to conversion into accommodation and a centre for homelessness support services.
Father Bob is the 2011 Victorian of the Year and is a tireless worker for Melbourne’s neediest people.
He is also a victim of family violence and has been a tireless campaigner for ending homelessness and disadvantage.
Quotes attributable to Jennifer Yang
“Father Bob’s Refuge for Women and Children will fill an important crisis accommodation gap in Melbourne.”
“Father Bob’s entire life has been spent in service to our community. It is entirely fitting that we recognise his enormous contribution in this way.”
“I believe that homelessness is the biggest issue before the City of Melbourne. We can and must do better than just building lockers, or continuing with the policies overseen by current and former Councillors who are candidates in this race.”
Quotes attributable to Major Brendan Nottle, Salvation Army
“The Salvation Army works every day with rough sleepers. Women and children are the most vulnerable amongst them.”
“I am thrilled that Jennifer Yang is taking concrete steps to improve the accommodation for traumatised families, who would otherwise be sleeping rough.”
Quotes attributable to Father Bob Maguire
“I am honoured and humbled that Jennifer Yang has proposed to name this refuge after
“As someone who has experienced family violence, this has a particular personal resonance
“The twin problems of family violence and homelessness are enigmatic of a society that is failing its most needy. This refuge will be an important part of addressing that failure.”