Find out the service delivery impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women’s Club – A welcome place for senior Ipswich Women

Women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing cohort of homeless Australians.

This is due to the ongoing shortage of affordable housing, the ageing population and the significant gap in wealth accumulation between men and women across their lifetimes.

When COVID-19 hit, we saw the impact on senior women first hand. People who had never thought they would be at risk of homelessness, were having long team leases ended rather than renewed, and were not able to find new accommodation in a really tight rental market. COVID also brought a new wave of isolation and loneliness.

From these difficult times, a new space in the heart of Ipswich was born. The Club became a safe place for women in need to connect, access support and flourish.

The main aim was to provide support to women over the age of 50, but no woman will be turned away.

Regular attendee Rhonda said: “I love coming to The Club and meeting new people. It gets me out of the house. Some days we just chat and do our arts and crafts. Other days we have guest speakers and activities. I really enjoyed when we got a visit from the Therapigs (pet therapy guinea pigs). I was feeling down that day and afterwards people noticed how much it picked up my mood.”

“I would recommend people give The Club a go. You have nothing to lose, but so much to gain,” Rhonda shared.

While creating connections between women is the main aim of the Women’s Club, individual housing and other supports are also offered by the team at inCommunity Connect.

Senior Manager Nerissa Wade shared: “Women can also access a range of supports through The Club. We provide individual housing support and referrals to help women and families get into emergency and long-term accommodation. Many people in the community are struggling to make ends meet, so we provide access to necessities such as clothing, toiletries and hygiene products. It’s so important that people don’t have to choose between paying for a meal or hygiene products and paying the rent.”

The Club is not like a traditional drop-in centre or homelessness service. “It’s set up like a café and women can either individually access supports or just socialise and enjoy a meal and a drink with others. We are here to provide what the women need at the time,” Nerissa explains.

The Women’s Club is open to women at 59 Limestone Street, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am – 1:30pm. All activities are free and more information about upcoming events can be found on the inCommunity Facebook page.

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