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Windermere is giving young, single mothers facing homelessness in Casey and Cardinia shires a helping hand with its Mums and Bubs program.
The program provides medium-term accommodation while helping young mums get back on their feet, equipping them with the necessary life skills to enter the rental market and support their children in the long term.
In June, the foundation opened Strachan House, thanks to former Windermere board member Carl Strachan’s generous donation of a fully furnished house in Pakenham.
Four young mothers and their children live at Strachan House with extensive support from Windermere.
All the young women have experienced homelessness with a range of contributory factors such as family violence, past substance abuse issues and childhood trauma.
They take part in house meetings, weekly house cleaning schedules, and a house meal where each resident takes turns planning, shopping and cooking for the group. The mothers learn financial management and planning, parenting and relationship skills, and are supported in finding long term accommodation and employment.
Each mother stays in the home for around six months. After their stay, more than 80 per cent go on to find long-term housing and stable employment or study.
With just eight places a year, the program is in hot demand – in just three months 40 inquiries were made about accommodation at Strachan House.
Windermere’s Manager Marketing and Fundraising, Maree De George, said the program was not government funded.
“We rely solely on donations and the generosity of the community for it to run,” she said.
To donate to Windermere and support the work at Strachan House, visit www.windermere.org.au or call 1300 946 337.

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