Jenny's Place seek support to keep domestic violence resource centre running

SUPPORT: Rosemary Pillay and Saibre Johnstone from Jenny's Place. The not-for-profit is seeking donations to keep its domestic violence resource centre open.
SUPPORT: Rosemary Pillay and Saibre Johnstone from Jenny's Place. The not-for-profit is seeking donations to keep its domestic violence resource centre open.

A domestic violence resource centre that has acted as a free "one stop shop" for Hunter women in a crisis for the past 11 years may be forced to close if funding to keep it running is not secured by September.

Saibre Johnstone from Jenny's Place said its domestic violence resource centre has survived for more than a decade on community donations before Port Waratah Coal Services stepped in to provide two years of funding, which will run out in three months time.

"We are calling out to the community to help us help victims of domestic and family violence across Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter by donating and by adding their names to our petition to the government to provide ongoing funding to the Jenny's Place Domestic Violence Resource Centre," she said.

"We are hoping to get the word out to the community that this essential service is not funded and we need support to continue supporting women and children escaping domestic violence."

Jenny's Place has operated for 42 years and receives state government Specialist Homelessness Services funding to run two refuges and for its outreach program, which includes helping the women living in its 15 transitional properties and 10 boarding house properties.

In 2008 Jenny's Place established the resource centre to assist women who did not need accommodation, but other services such as information on how to leave their situation safely, access to counselling and other support services. Each month, about 60 women access the resource centre.

"It would be a great loss to the community to lose a service like this," Rosemary Pillay from Jenny's Place said. "It's the only one of its kind in the area."

Newcastle production company 33 South Films and marketing agency Vicinity Marketing has donated their time and resources to creating a fund raising campaign for Jenny's Place, accessible via givenow.com.au/jennysplace.

While Jenny's Place is seeking donations, staff are also encouraging residents to write to their state and federal government representatives to raise the funding issue in parliament. A petition has also been started on change.org.

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