How it all started..
Safe Haven Community Founder, Denise Hunter grew up in a farming environment with strong community connections in the beautiful Fassifern Valley area of the Scenic Rim in South East Queensland. The eldest of five children, life for Denise was tough but fun and it was this upbringing that inspired her to found the Safe Haven Community concept in October 2015 in response to disturbing statistics about the severe shortage of available housing for people fleeing domestic and family abuse. She heard that Domestic Violence call centres were receiving around 56,000 incoming calls every month and that around 18,000 were going unanswered. Her immediate thought was ‘Well even if they had answered them, where were they going to put them all?’ That night, unable to sleep she decided she would do something about it.
The ‘Safe Haven Family’ Team
Denise Hunter – Founder
During her working career, Denise was a Bookkeeper/Administration Manager in several businesses notably the iconic Australian Woolshed, Channel 10 and later WIN Television in Rockhampton. Many years as a single mum to four children, and her farming background instilled a great work ethic and a “can do” attitude in Denise. It was only upon reaching retirement age and putting aside the opportunity to be a doting Grandma to her four (currently, two more on the way) grandchildren, that she found she had the time and the reason to finally give back to people in need.
Denise is the first to describe herself as “just a woman from the suburbs” and she has been ( and still is) determined to create a simple and safe community-based solution to address the situation. Her tenacity and attitude of “just get off your bum and do something” proved to be a driving force behind what has now, together with the creative business minds and direction of some great people, become an innovative and effective community-based solution.
Paul Ferry – Executive Director
Appointed the Executive Director of Safe Haven Community in March 2017, Paul is responsible for bringing Denise’s early vision from concept to fruition as a fully self-sustainable service.
Paul is an experienced Company Director with strong entrepreneurship and leadership skills and a demonstrated 19-year history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. He is skilled in Sales and Business Management, Marketing Management, and Digital Strategy and assists with growth strategies for organisations in the DV sector, not-for-profits, charities and social enterprise.
Always on the lookout for exciting new business concepts that enrich our society and make the world a better place to live, Paul’s unstoppable attitude and passion for problem-solving and social justice will help Safe Haven Community deliver significant impact in reducing the problem of domestic abuse in Australia and beyond.
Jesse Hunter – Interim Board Member
Jesse brings to Safe Haven Community his extensive experience as an operations supervisor and high levels of expertise in project planning and management. His main focus is on holding accountability for the overall team performance and assisting Safe Haven Community in moving forward with achieving our targets and delivering on our impact goals.
Safe Haven Community Ambassadors
Volunteer Professional Service Providers
Accommodation Provider Co-Ordinator
Safe Haven Community Services
Purpose of our services
The purpose of our services are to;
provide relief of distress for individuals and families (Guests) at risk of domestic abuse or homelessness, by providing safe, secure short-term community-based accommodation
- compliment and support the DV and homelessness sector in providing essential services that are in limited supply
facilitate community-based accommodation and matching Guests with appropriate Providers
provide or ensure ongoing support to Guests, Accommodation Providers, Case Managers and Referrers
promote the lack of safe, secure housing for individuals and families at risk of domestic abuse or homelessness to the general public
raise public funds to fulfill service requirements
We help refuges and shelters find new accommodation options for guests who no longer need such a high level of support. This makes room for new high priority cases to enter the refuge and access the critical services they need.
Often when people ring the Domestic Violence call centres they are in immediate danger or crisis. They have high risk and complex needs that need to be addressed by highly qualified and fully trained professionals from the DV and homelessness sectors. These people need to be placed in a refuge or shelter. For safety reasons it would not be appropriate to place these people in a private community home.
Typically, after around 12 weeks in a refuge or shelter, the person’s highest needs will have been addressed and their personal risk will be much lower and they will be able to self-manage. This is when the person is eligible to be considered for a Safe Haven Community placement. NOTE: The person must have been confirmed low risk by a qualified Risk Assessment Worker or Case Manager.
Some people may wish to approach Safe Haven Community directly as they do not think they are high risk enough to bother the already overloaded DV and homelessness call centres, or they may have already been turned away by some service providers as they do not fit the criteria for that particular service provider. In situations such as this, Safe Haven Community will offer a Case Manager and conduct our own risk assessment. If the person’s individual risk is deemed to be low and therefore not putting the potential Guest or any of our Accommodation Providers at risk of harm then we may be able to assist in the provision of a community placement.
PLEASE NOTE: We do not guarantee the provision of any accommodation or other services if we are not comfortable with our perceived level of risk. Safety for all Guests and Accommodation Providers is our highest priority.
All Guests are assessed by a fully trained professional to understand their personal situation and support requirements during their stay. This includes initial and ongoing risk assessment, needs assessment, personal safety plan, and an exit strategy. Appointed Case Managers will work with the Guest to address all needs and will make referrals to other agencies and support services where appropriate.
The safety of our Guests and Accommodation Providers is our highest priority
Accommodation Providers Safety
All Registered Accommodation Providers are vetted, ID checked and police checked and are fully supported by Safe Haven to provide a positive and supporting environment for their Guests. All of our Guests are encouraged to complete confidential feedback forms to let us know if there are issues with any of our Accommodation Providers. Any issues relating to inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with immediately and may cause a Provider to be suspended or removed from our database.
We adhere strictly to our organisational policy and procedure documents and protocols to ensure the highest level of accountability and transparency at all times throughout the entire organisation. This also includes our Referral Agencies, Case Managers, Accommodation Providers, Guests and any Volunteers.
Policies and procedures
Our policies and procedures meet or exceed industry standards and were built in conjunction with the following documents;
QLD Government – Human Services Quality Framework
QLD Government – Practice Standards for Working with Women Affected by Domestic and Family Violence
Victorian Government, Department of Human Services – Family Violence Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework (CRAF) and Practice Guides
NSW Govt – DV Safety Assessment Tool
Australian Govt – Screening, Risk Assessment and Safety Planning Paper
Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission – Guideline on Family Violence Services and Accommodation
Australian Standards AS ISO 10002 – 2006 Customer Satisfaction – Guidelines for complaints handling in organisations
Residential tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008
Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Our organisational values guide all aspects of our charity and interactions. They help us build a strong team foundation and an even stronger charity culture.
Projected outcomes for our first year
Safe Haven Community’s measurable contribution goals for the first 12 months include;
Safe Haven Community is an Australian Public Company Limited by Guarantee and a Registered Charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. We operate in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
Safe Haven Community is also endorsed by the Australian Tax Office as a Public Benevolent Institution with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status effective from 27th April 2017.
|Entity name:||Safe Haven Community|
|ABN:||92 618 365 594|
|Sub-Entity Type:||2014 Public benevolent institution
2014 Advancing social or public welfare
|Effective Date:||24th April 2017|