The United Muslim Women Association (MWA) was excited to launch Linking Hearts: Canterbury Bankstown Multicultural Family Homelessness Support Service at Haldon House Function Centre in Sydney's South West on Tuesday 24th March 2015.
Linking Hearts, a new service supporting individuals and families in need, was launched by NSW Minister for Family and Community Services Gabrielle Upton, and NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello.
Linking Hearts is a new innovative program that builds on strong interagency relationships to provide holistic and culturally sensitive support options for those at greatest risk of homelessness. Linking Hearts is a program funded under the NSW Department of Family and Community Services Going Home Staying Home reforms.
Ms Upton said the Linking Hearts program will provide support for individuals and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are at risk of homelessness.
“I welcome this new program aimed at helping to ensure the most vulnerable in society, including new migrants and refugees, are able to access the services they need regardless culturally and linguistic background,” Ms Upton said. “In particular I pay tribute to the Muslim Women’s Association, led by Maha Abdo OAM, for its dedication to supporting migrant families, especially women and children, across Sydney at risk of homelessness and domestic violence.”
Mr Dominello said Linking Hearts would provide culturally-appropriate services for individuals at risk of homelessness, including women and children escaping domestic and family violence and refugees requiring crisis care accommodation. “We’re one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world, so it’s important that we have specialist migrant homelessness services - where the staff understand the culture, speak the language and have strong links to the community,” he said.
Ms Joumana Harris, President of the MWA, stated "The MWA is excited to be leading this initiative. Linking Hearts draws together a number of agency providers to work together to bring a better outcome for our clients. We are pleased to be able to leverage off our strong interagency relationships to deliver a key platform of the Going Home Staying Home reforms."
Working with the MWA on this key initiative will be our key partners:
- BaptistCare NSW and ACT
- Creating Links (NSW) Ltd
- Southern Sydney Women’s Therapy Centre Inc
- Domestic Violence Service Management
- Metro Assist Inc.
Ms Maha Abdo, Executive Officer of the MWA, stated, "The need for emergency and crisis support in the community is growing and crosses cultural and social barriers. For the first time, through Linking Hearts, we have a support service that also crosses these very same boundaries."
The MWA, with over 30 years experience in supporting the community, is excited to be leading this evolution of support services in NSW.