About 2017-11-20T06:54:35+00:00

How it all started..

Denise Hunter founded the Safe Haven Community concept in October 2015 in response to disturbing statistics about the severe shortage of available housing for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence. Despite having no formal training in the sector Denise was determined to create a simple and safe community-based solution to address the problem.

Paul Ferry was appointed the Executive Director of Safe Haven Community in March 2017 and is responsible for bringing Denise’s early vision from concept to fruition as a fully self-sustainable service. Paul brings over 18 years experience in marketing and communications, sales and business management, and assists with growth strategies for organisations in the DV sector, not-for-profits, charities and social enterprise.


Our mission

To ensure there is always a safe place to stay for people who are at risk of domestic abuse or homelessness. We provide safety and security, and nurturing and supportive environment, free from fear, and physical, financial, emotional, verbal, sexual or spiritual abuse. We help to empower people to live independently and move on in their life.

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

Service framework

Our vision

We assist in greatly reducing homelessness and the number of incidents of women and children being beaten, hospitalized or murdered each year in Australia.

Risk management

Referral agencies

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.

Self-referring Guests

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.



Guest Safety

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 commitments

Organisational values

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.


The safety of our Guests and Providers is our highest priority


We respectfully acknowledge the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of all Guests and Providers


We welcome diversity and equality, and deliver ethical, non-discriminatory and culturally aware services


We operate at the highest levels of integrity and always have our finger on the pulse


We provide skilled and professional staff and directors who are diligent, ethical and committed to the objectives and impact goals of the charity


We find ways to overcome new challenges and solve problems every day


We always look for areas to improve and grow our services

Great Service

We provide polite and proactive customer service that exceeds expectations. We go the extra mile.

Projected outcomes for our first year

In our first year of operation, Safe Haven Community will provide 10,000 nights of accommodation to women and children in a supported and nurturing private community home

Impact goals

Safe Haven Community’s measurable contribution goals for the first 12 months include;

Establish 500 Safe Haven Community providers across Australia
Reach and maintain capacity of 18,000 nights per year of accommodation
Provide safety for 1250 individuals per year (average 14 night stay)

Legal structure

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
Entity Type: Charity
Sub-Entity Type: 2014 Public benevolent institution
2014 Advancing social or public welfare
Effective Date: 24th April 2017


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Contact Us





Please use the contact form to send your support, ideas, requests, or concerns. We will respond as soon as we are able. If you require a more immediate response you can use the number below to call and speak to us in person.

Call: 18 000 HAVEN (1800 042 836)