BaptistCare’s new Hopestreet Women’s Centre was officially opened in Darlinghurst in January, with the help of the Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister for Social Housing, Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Pru Goward.

The new Women’s Centre has been designed as a safe space where marginalised women in Sydney’s inner city can access free and confidential professional support. Women, including transgender women, will be able to access a range of practical services including:

  • Workshops and skills-based classes
  • Drop-in support
  • Counselling and case management
  • Safe-sex kits and food support
  • Assistance to access health and government services.

BaptistCare HopeStreet is a leading provider of life-transforming support for women in the social housing communities of Darlinghurst and Woolloomooloo, women experiencing domestic violence and women in the sex industry, including culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) sex workers.

CALD women make up two-thirds of Sydney’s sex workers. Due to language barriers, visa status and social isolation many are unable to access traditional services related to domestic violence, housing and sexual health. Women’s Services have staff who speak Mandarin and Cantonese which assists women to access support.

Commenting on the benefits the Centre will bring to the local community, Ms Goward said: “The new Women’s Centre will provide much needed support to some of the most vulnerable women in our society.” 

“These women often experience abuse and exploitation, social marginalisation and financial hardship. I commend service providers like BaptistCare HopeStreet who work tirelessly to ensure people have access to the support and services they need.”

BaptistCare HopeStreet Women’s Services Manager, Jess Davidson added: “BaptistCare is very proud to announce the expansion of our HopeStreet Community Services through the new Women’s Centre at Darlinghurst.”   

“We believe every woman’s story is unique, and every woman is worthy of respect, dignity and inclusion. Unfortunately, that has not been the experience of so many women who come to Women’s Services facing complex challenges like social isolation, addiction, mental health issues, and legal and financial difficulties. The women we work with often experience trauma and abuse as a result of diminished choice. It is our absolute priority to increase our presence and ensure they have access to compassionate care free from judgement.”

BaptistCare HopeStreet offers support for women at many different stages in their personal journeys. The Centre starts with something as simple as offering a homelike place to safely relax, prepare a meal and socialise, and extends to tailored services such as counselling, skills-based workshops and educational programs.

The Centre has been designed in collaboration with clients of BaptistCare HopeStreet Women’s Services, who contributed to the look and the feel of the space to help create a sense of belonging and ownership. It is supported by donations and fundraising.