Service Description

B Miles Women’s Foundation is a Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS) that operates within the City of Sydney Local Government Area. BMWF supports women living with a mental illness who are experiencing homelessness, or are at risk of homelessness.

The Foundation’s primary objectives are to resolve and prevent homelessness by providing flexible service delivery comprised of:

Crisis accommodation
Transitional housing and
Outreach support

B Miles Women’s Foundation works in collaboration with mainstream services and housing providers using an integrated, client-centred approach that is tailored in intensity and duration based on the particular circumstances of each woman, and her experiences and choices.  The Foundation’s programs assist women to stabilise their circumstances, to build their capacity to maintain or progress to longer-term living arrangements, and to sustain mental health stability.

Vision Statement

Achieve excellence in the provision of housing and support services to homeless women and women at risk of homelessness who are living with a mental illness.

Ensure clients are supported in safe and affordable housing while continuing to assist women with recovery.

Board of Management

B Miles Women’s Foundation is governed by a Board of Management who are formally elected in accordance with B Miles Women’s Foundation’s Constitution. The Board provides leadership and ensures that governance requirements are achieved. The Board is also responsible to ensure that B Miles Women’s Foundation is viable and has effective risk management measures in place.

The Board of Management oversees and monitors:

Governance
Risk Management
Finance
Performance against plans and budgets
The organisations values, vision and purpose

Robyn Fortescue

Chairperson

Robyn has held executive positions on B Miles Women’s Foundation’s Board of Management for many years including the positions of Secretary and Chairperson.

Robyn has a background in industrial relations and is the Assistant State Secretary for the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union.

Simon Chapple

Vice Chairperson

Simon is a barrister with a practice in succession law, elder law, property law, general commercial law, corporations’ law, consumer protection law and administrative law.

Simon graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Bachelor of Law. In 2010 Simon was awarded a PhD from the University of New South Wales. He is an adjunct Fellow in the law faculty at University of Western Sydney.

Louise Costanzo

Secretary

Louise is employed as a Social Worker with St Vincent’s Hospital Acute Care Mental Health Service.

Having worked in the area of mental health for 25 years, Louise has experience and expertise in advocating for vulnerable people who are in crisis without housing or stability.

Brendan Dunne

Treasurer

Brendan has a Bachelor of Accounting from the University of Technology Sydney and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

He has held senior roles within Australia and internationally with a background in Finance, Risk, Strategy and Transformation and is employed by Allianz Australia as General Manager Strategy and Transformation.

Robyn Greaves

Ordinary Member

Robyn Greaves manages the Kings Cross Community Centre and has served on the Board of Management for many years.

Robyn has been employed in the homelessness and housing sectors in the inner city for over 30 years and has a keen interest in community services and the networks that support vulnerable and socially disadvantaged people.

Renee Bianchi

Ordinary Member

Renee is a barrister with a diverse practice in common law, commercial and equity matters, including the areas of professional negligence, product liability, insurance, general commercial and succession law.

Renée has a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Hons) from the University of Newcastle. Renée was the President of NSW Young Lawyers in 2016 and is currently the Chair of the Law Council of Australia’s Young Lawyers Committee. Renée is also an active volunteer with Girl Guides Australia and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, having been involved for over 20 years.

Download our Annual Report

2016 (PDF)

2016_ar_bmiles_icon
Download

Supporters

The Board of Management, staff and women accessing the services and programs of B Miles Women’s Foundation would like to extend gratitude and appreciation to:
  • Bowlers Club of NSW (99 on York)
  • Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL
  • City of Sydney RSL Club
  • Maroubra Seals Sports & Community Club
  • Petersham RSL
  • Thyne Reid Foundation
  • Westpac Foundation
  • Woollarah Municipal Council

Partnerships

stvin

St Vincents Mental Health Service

B Miles Women’s Foundation has been working in partnership with St Vincent’s Mental Health Service (SVMHS) since 2005 to provide recovery-focused services and to ensure that women experiencing homelessness receive access to quality mental health treatment, support and housing. The Foundation collaborates with SVMHS to assist women throughout their transition from homelessness to independent living with appropriate support at each stage of recovery.

metro

Metro Community Housing

The partnership with Metro Community Housing provides access to properties in Sydney’s inner west for women who are living with a mental illness. In order to be nominated for one of these properties, women must be approved for long-term housing through Housing Pathways and must be awaiting allocation. The Foundation is able to accommodate and support tenants for 3 to 12 months in these properties.

SGCH

St George Community Housing

In partnership with St George Community Housing, B Miles Women’s Foundation has properties in suburbs including Annandale, Camperdown, Chippendale, Darlinghurst, Glebe, Kensington, Randwick, Potts Point and Surry Hills. The Foundation accommodates and supports tenants for 3 to 12 months while tenants are supported to secure longer-term accommodation.


Awards

2015 Mental Health Matters Awards

Certificate of Commendation in the category Mental Health Promotion and Wellbeing. Awarded by NSW Mental Health Association and Mental Health Commission NSW.

2010 Mental Health Matters Award

Awarded by the NSW Mental Health Association for Cross Sector Collaboration to B Miles Women’s Foundation.

2010 Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Service Achievement Award

Awarded by The Mental Health Services Conference in the category entitled – NGO Provided Service. B Miles Women’s Foundation received a silver award in recognition of effective service redesign and partnership to bring about recovery oriented coordinated care for women with a mental illness who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

2009 NSW Premier’s Award

City Women’s Hostel (B Miles Supported Accommodation) was a finalist for the NSW Premier’s Award.

2008 Award for Innovation

Awarded by St Vincent’s Mental Health Service to City Women’s Hostel (B Miles Supported Accommodation) for success of working in partnership to meet the needs of mutual clients.


The B Miles Story

B Miles Women’s Foundation is named after a woman by the name of Beatrice Miles who was born in 1902.
Bee was her preferred name. Bee was well known in the eastern suburbs of Sydney where she slept in streets and parks. Bee was a poet and a writer. Some of her works are now in the NSW State Library. Author Kate Grenville wrote ‘Lillian’s Story’ which was based loosely on Bee’s life. The book was later made into a movie starring the late Ruth Cracknell. Bee passed away in 1973.

Inner City Service for Women with Complex Needs (ICSWCN)

B Miles Women’s Foundation is the Lead Agent for the Inner City Service for Women with Complex Needs package (ICSWCN); a NSW Government funded initiative under the Specialist Homelessness Services Program.

In addition to providing services for women living with a mental illness, B Miles Women’s Foundation contracts other agencies to provide a range of specialist service responses to women who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Service provision is directed towards:

  • Women experiencing mental ill health
  • Women impacted by the criminal justice system
  • Women recovering from substance dependency

ICSWCN offers a range of specialist service responses to women including:

  • Short-term supported accommodation designed to support recovery in preparation for independent living
  • Transitional housing
  • Case Management programs focused on relapse prevention, care co-ordination and advocacy
  • Outreach services to support women to maintain housing and stabilise their circumstances
  • Opportunities for access to clinical support programs, social/recreational activities and community participation

For more information on this project, please phone 1800 274 984 or visit the websites of contributing agencies; Community Restorative Centre and Detour House Inc.

Community Restorative Centre

Go to Website

Detour House, Caring for women in need

detourhouse
Go to Website

Connect with us

Mental Healthline NSW 24hr
1800 011 511

Go to nrsch website