One more open door to emergency housing

More emergency housing has become available on the Southern Downs. Picture: UNSPLASH

The Southern Downs Granite Belt region is grappling with a serious accommodation crisis, particularly concerning the urgent need for emergency housing for those escaping domestic and family violence.

While short-term solutions like motels are often used, funding these accommodations remains a significant challenge.

Warwick Safe Haven, a community-funded organisation managed by a volunteer committee, has stepped forward to address this pressing issue. The organisation, which provides recovery and prevention pathways for domestic violence victims in the Southern Downs, has developed a strategy to support local groups in offering emergency accommodation.

Bette Bonney, President of Warwick Safe Haven, highlighted the organisation’s ongoing partnership with Warwick Lighthouse Community Centre.

“We have a memorandum of understanding with the Lighthouse Community Centre, where Safe Haven provides specific funding to place Southern Downs domestic violence clients into local short-term motel accommodation,” Ms Bonney said.

“The Centre negotiates with local motels to accommodate the clients, who then connect with an appropriate DV service or the Queensland Police Service (QPS) the next morning, depending on the circumstances.”

A similar agreement was established this year with the Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre (GBNC), which requested assistance to support domestic violence victims in their area.

This partnership, involving Safe Haven, GBNC, and QPS, allows for a more flexible and responsive approach to crisis accommodation.

Jenny Leigh, Service Manager of GBNC, praised the arrangement for its adaptability and effectiveness in meeting individual needs.

“The operation is proving to be flexible and responsive to individual circumstances,” she said.

Local organisations such as Zonta Stanthorpe and QCWA (Stanthorpe & Glen Aplin) have generously contributed funds to support Safe Haven’s efforts.

“We are very thankful to individuals and organisations who financially support Warwick Safe Haven, enabling us to continue assisting DV clients on the Southern Downs in their recovery and prevention of domestic and family violence,” Ms Bonney said.

Community members interested in contributing to this vital work can make inquiries via email at