It will soon be easier for older women experiencing homelessness or at risk of being homeless in Queensland to navigate their way to a better life, as Eastern Star Foundation announces a $100,000 grant to The Lady Musgrave Trust.
The gap funding will help Queensland’s oldest charity to rollout the Ending Homelessness for Older Women project, which includes the development of a new website, that will be a central repository of information and resources for those seeking help. In addition, a minimum of 16,000 hardcopies of the new Handy Guide for Older Women will be produced and distributed throughout communities across the state.
A portion of the funding will also go towards their annual Women and Homelessness Forum which will focus on Older Women – Living on the Edge of Homelessness to be held on the 5th of August. Industry experts and stakeholders will get together to collaborate on ways to address this ever-growing social issue.
The Lady Musgrave Trust Chief Executive Officer Karen Lyon Reid said with an ageing population, now is the time to step up efforts in this area.
“We’re seeing the number of older homeless women rise, with a 31% increase since 2011,” Ms Lyon Reid said.
“The reasons why women face homelessness in their older years are many and varied, whether that’s due to a family breakdown or loss of a partner, domestic violence, poor mental and physical health, poverty or financial difficulties due to loss of employment and lack of superannuation.
“The common denominator is that many of these older women are experiencing or at risk of homelessness for the first time and don’t know where to turn for help or feel daunted when approaching support services that are tailored for those that have been homeless in the long-term.
“This funding will help us improve outcomes for this vulnerable group right across the state.”
Eastern Star Foundation Chairman Johnathan Nantes said this was one of three initiatives to be funded by organisation in its inaugural grant round, since becoming a charitable foundation last year. The group, which was formerly known as Star Aged Living and was established by members of the Order of the Eastern Star, operated a not-for-profit aged care facility in Beaudesert before it was sold to Whiddon Group early last year.
“Our new charitable focus is to empower those who enhance the quality of life for our ageing communities,” Mr Nantes said.
“Indeed, the initiative aligns with our key activities which includes support for older and elderly women suffering from financial and physical hardship.
“We are proud to partner with The Lady Musgrave Trust on this important initiative to help more older women lead dignified and independent lives.”
To find out more about The Lady Musgrave Trust visit www.ladymusgravetrust.org.au