A partnership between Homelessness NSW,
Domestic Violence NSW and Yfoundations

Program - Canterbury Bankstown Multicultural Family Homelessness Support Service (operating as Linking Hearts Multicultural Family Services)​ at the Muslim Women Association

Excellence in Ending Homelessness - Diverse Groups Nominee

Program - Canterbury Bankstown Multicultural Family Homelessness Support Service (operating as Linking Hearts Multicultural Family Services)​ at the Muslim Women Association

Please give your reasons for nominating this program.

Muslim Women Association is a  lead agency with over 30 years of experience supporting women, identified four main partners with which to work together to implement this collaborative approach.  Linking Hearts, officially known as Canterbury Bankstown Multicultural Homelessness and Domestic Violence Support Service is a program funded under the Specialist Homelessness Services of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, is the primary provider of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) specific services for families, including men, women and children in relation to homelessness and DV support in the Sydney region.

Lead by MWA, Linking Hearts has four key partners:
• BaptistCare NSW and ACT : support our male clients
• Southern Sydney Women’s Therapy Centre : support our female clients
• Metro Assist : tenancy support
• Domestic Violence Service Management :ongoing evaluation and process improvement

In regards to housing transitional accommodation, Linking Hearts has access to over 30 properties across the Canterbury and Bankstown LGAs.

Property management support for these properties is provided by a number of
specialist housing providers including:
• Ecclesia Housing
• Evolve Housing
• Mission Australia Housing
The program has established Psychologist Panel Advisory Committee with the purpose of  making recommendations to Muslim Women Association management regarding the health and wellbeing of clients. This committee has been convened as part of Muslim Women Association and Linking Hearts ongoing commitment to provide holistic care to clients and staff, as per the recommendations of recent policy on Domestic and Family Violence
outlining service delivery involving a networked and co-ordinated system of police, justice, healthcare and housing, family support services and counselling that form a complete wrap around service.

What outcomes were delivered as a result of this program?

Linking Hearts Multicultural Family Service continues to deliver holistic support services based on a holistic approach and focusing on prevention and early intervention, safe and supported crisis and transitional accommodation, rapid rehousing and intensive support for clients with complex needs.   In the financial year 2016-2017 the program provided service to total number of 1248, Male 386 36%, Female 683 64%.  Housing crisis (e.g. eviction) 328 30.00%,Domestic and family violence 317 29.00%, Relationship/family breakdown 223 20.40% and it  has allowed many families to enhance their sense of self confidence and identity in an otherwise difficult through delivery of holistic support options focusing on prevention and early intervention, safe and supported crisis and transitional accommodation, rapid rehousing and intensive support for clients with complex needs.

Reference statement:

Moo Baulch

I am writing this statement in support of nomination Linking Hearts for SHS Best Model Awards.  Linking Hears is officially known as Canterbury Bankstown Multicultural Homelessness and Domestic Violence Support Service, is the primary provider of CALD specific services for families, including men, women and children in relation to homelessness and DV support in the Sydney region.

For over 30 years the Muslim Women Association has been a leading voice of advocacy for women, family and children taking our foremost issues to the local, state and national table for discussion.  Linking Hearts program delivers services in   the most effective way to prevent violence against women and children is to work together and be respectful and celebrate our differences and diversity in our communities.

Since its establishment in 2015, Linking Hearts Multicultural Family Service, has been providing high quality crisis and transitional accommodation for families, women and children as a team of individuals devoted to servicing women, children and families of all faiths and cultures whilst preserving respect for cultural and religious sensitivities. At the heart of the MWA is a commitment to fairness, equality and justice in all our interactions and activities that support Muslim women.