About Us

Jenny's Place is a not-for-profit community-based service established in Newcastle in 1977.

Jenny’s Place provides direct relief and support to women and children who are experiencing domestic violence and/or homelessness (or are at risk of homelessness).

Our passionate team is committed to keeping women and children in our community safe, housed and free from violence. We seek to empower women through honesty, transparency, equality, compassion and decency. We aim to help our clients break the cycle of violence and live secure lives.

Jenny’s Place offers a range of services to women and children. We operate Women and Children’s Crisis Refuge, Single Women’s Crisis Refuge, Supported Transitional Accommodation, Outreach Homelessness Support Program, and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre.

Our Impact

clients supported by Jenny’s Place services
consultations with women and children at the NDVRC
women sleeping rough were supported through assertive outreach
women were new referrals to NDVRC with 257 known children
women and children were supported to rapidly resolve their homelessness
women accommodated in crisis or transitional housing
organisations received domestic violence awareness training
organisations made referrals to Jenny’s Place and 65 partnered with us to support our clients

Our Philosophy

Jenny’s Place is based on a feminist philosophy. We believe that:

  • Domestic violence is not acceptable or justifiable and that no person ever deserves to be treated with violence or abuse.
  • All women and children have the right to live in safety, without violence and in affordable housing.
  • Perpetrators of domestic violence must take responsibility for their actions.
  • Domestic violence is a community, not a private, matter.
  • Women can be empowered through the provision of knowledge, education and rights to be able to make decisions for themselves and their children.
  • The economic and social structures of society result in the unequal position, power and relationships between men and women, and that this needs to be addressed.
  • Cultural barriers and inequality must be addressed for women and children to access high quality and culturally-appropriate services.
  • Women have the right to live independently, to make their own decisions and control their own lives.

Our Service Delivery Framework

Jenny’s Place works within the Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS) Delivery Framework. We deliver:

  • A client-focused approach that places you at the centre of all service and program responses.
  • Evidence-based practice in four core service responses:
    • prevention and early intervention,
    • rapid re-housing,
    • crisis and transitional responses, and
    • intensive responses for complex need clients.
  • SHS system enablers, including access, service quality, and industry and workforce development.
  • Links with other human services to ensure SHS responses are part of the broader service system, building and maintaining connections with family (where safe to do so) and community.

Our Values

The SHS dovetails with Jenny’s Place values:

  • Social justice principles
  • Individual responsiveness
  • Strength-based practice
  • Open, friendly and transparent approaches and processes
  • Self-determination
  • Diversity
  • Work and life wellbeing balance
  • Fairness and equality
  • Actively challenging systemic inequalities
  • Collaborative partnerships
  • Critical reflection, awareness and growth
  • Independence and sustainability
  • Mutuality and accountability

Our History

Jenny’s Place Women and Children’s Refuge was established by a group of passionate women, who believed that women and children experiencing domestic violence deserved to have a safe place. A place where they could receive the support and assistance they required to live a life free from violence and abuse. Jenny’s Place was a strong part of the NSW Women’s Refuge Movement.

Newcastle’s first female Lord Mayor, Joy Cummings OAM, provided them with a two-bedroom property in Islington that was set up as a refuge. For a peppercorn rent of $1.00 per year, the house provided a safe haven for many women and children.

“Words were not important – love has its own language.” Joy Cummings obituary
Jenny’s Place received a purpose-built refuge, with five bedrooms and communal living areas. A child support building was also established.
Jenny’s Place established a Domestic Violence Resource Centre. It provides options for the many women and children who need support to escape a violent home. Not all of them need accommodation. They need support, information and referral, and someone to advocate on their behalf. This service remains essential for women and children in our community experiencing domestic violence.
Jenny’s Place successfully tendered, under the Specialist Homelessness Services funding system (SHS), to provide our Women and Children’s Supported Crisis Refuge, a Single Women’s Crisis Refuge, Supported Transitional Accommodation and Outreach Support Program.

“Words were not important

– love has its own language.”

Joy Cummings obituary