Photo: Brook Stewart, General Manager at Kingsway Community Care (left) with Kevin Greene, Mayor of Georges River Council at the opening of the house last week.

By Emily Ferguson

Kingsway Community Care, an arm of Kingsway Community Church, last week opened the only crisis accommodation for women with children in the Georges River area, in partnership with Georges River Council and Fresh Hope Housing.

The area in southern Sydney is among the top 10 in New South Wales for reported incidences of domestic and family violence, which appear to have mounted in connection with COVID-19 home isolation. Consequently, 23 local women, many with children, are currently homeless each night.

“We were aware through our connections with Georges Rives Council that there weren’t a lot of services, and after some discussions the council agreed to give us a three-bedroom house in order to start a housing project,” said Brook Stewart, General Manager at Kingsway Community Care. “Women and their children will be able to stay for anywhere between three days and three months.

“The house was in a pretty bad condition so we had to come up with a vision and a plan to renovate it. I was told in a council meeting one day it would cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars and I said, “Well it’s good for you guys that I believe in miracles then!”

Not long afterwards, Brook attended a men’s breakfast run by the council and sensed the Holy Spirit prompting him to talk to the speaker, who worked for a developer. After several messaging attempts on LinkedIn, Brook met with him and not only was he excited to be part of the project but introduced Brook to a building company who put a full-time project manager on site and emailed all their suppliers to ask for donations.

Between the council, building companies and suppliers, over $100,000 in goodwill has now been donated.

Kevin Greene, Mayor of Georges River Council, spoke at the opening last week, saying, “Our community has blown us away with support for the centre with donations of household items, which have helped to furnish the facility and assist families moving into more permanent accommodation.”

Fresh Hope Housing has also partnered with Kingsway Community Care on this project by providing project management support from conception through to construction and soon occupancy.

“Fresh Hope Housing is passionate about providing essential housing for some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Matt Young, Manager of Fresh Hope Housing. “We are excited to partner with Kingsway Community Care in providing a safe environment for them while they deal with the trauma of what they’ve gone through while receiving case work and support services.”

“When you start a project like this you realise the only way this is going to happen is if there’s divine provision involved,” Brook said. “We’ve seen miracles upon miracles of provision along the way and God’s continued to surprise me with what he can do. It’s amazing when we listen in and lean into God that we get the privilege of walking in the opportunities that God provides.”

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