Transforming houses into sanctuaries
Our Sanctuary Program transforms houses into sanctuaries for people who have escaped domestic violence to start their new journey with dignity, free from abuse.
Our dedicated volunteers work hard to create a Friends with Dignity Sanctuary using items donated by our supporters—household and personal care items, gift cards and financial donations. Our primary goal is to create a welcoming home for survivors of domestic and family violence who have literally left behind their entire lives (and everything they own) when they leave refuge and want to rebuild their lives.
We work on a referral basis only through registered referring agencies who contact us with a request.
The referring agency tells us a little bit about the family–how many people will be living in the home, how old they are, if there are any special requests which then helps Friends With Dignity personalise their sanctuary.
The magic begins
Friends With Dignity’s volunteer team leaders have up to seven days to complete the sanctuary.
We pick up the keys from the referring agency and visit the house to see what it needs to transform from an empty house into a sanctuary. Our Team Leaders check out details like what size fridge will fit, how big is the lounge, if the bedrooms need a wardrobe, or what type of storage is available.
Once we know the space we are working with and what’s on the wish list, our Team Leaders start sourcing what we need to make the magic happen.
Making the magic happen
This is where YOU our amazing supporters come in. We go through the list of donations we’ve received, and put a call out through social media for additional items we need for the sanctuary Friends with Dignity Facebook Page.
Our volunteers start collecting donated beds, bed linen, towels, crockery, glasses, basic kitchen appliances, white goods, couches, TV, pantry items, toiletries etc. We also source any of the special requests from the family to create princess bedrooms, books about space or dinosaurs, a quiet study space for senior year, or nursery items for a two-month-old baby.
With every Sanctuary, we are constantly amazed, humbled and reminded of the support from our community. With the donated items we are able to transform an empty shell into a welcoming home and sanctuary for families to rebuild their lives with hope and dignity.