Wyn Carr House project – supported housing for women

A WA-first partnership to transform Wyn Carr House into a state-of-the-art space to support older women experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

A hidden crisis exists

Many factors contribute to homelessness for older women, including domestic violence, family and marriage breakdown, economic disadvantage, housing stress and instability and workforce participation trends.²

1. https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/age-discrimination/projects/risk-homelessness-older-women older women’s risk homelessness background paper 2019.
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Census of Population and Housing, Estimating Homelessness: 2011 & 2016.

A state-of-the-art solution

The transformed Wyn Carr House will adopt Uniting WA’s successful Homelessness Accommodation Support Service (HASS) model, which provides wrap around supports to people in transitional accommodation across Perth.

The HASS service addresses the drivers of each individual’s homelessness, to help them break the cycle and build their capacity to maintain safe, secure long-term housing.

Each resident will be supported by a person-centred care plan that is trauma-informed and strengths-based.

The original heritage listed Wyn Carr House will be accompanied by a new two-story residential building, adjoined by a secure courtyard. The ground floor of the new build will include shared living areas, a communal kitchen and laundry, while 12 ensuite bedrooms will be located on the first floor.  The restored Wyn Carr House will also include purpose-built spaces to support residents during their tenancy.

Trauma-informed design

Cox Architecture have reimagined Wyn Carr House based on trauma-informed design principles, incorporating elements vital to promoting physical and mental health and supporting residents’ overall wellbeing.

To achieve this, the design delivers safe, private, dignified, accessible spaces which contribute to creating a sense of home that will positively impact the lives of those who utilise it, now and into the future.

An innovative and purpose-led approach

Harnessing the power of government, philanthropy and business – Uniting WA, in partnership with Housing All Australians (HAA), the State Government and generous supporters, are delivering a state-of-the-art facility to support older women experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

Transformational projects like Wyn Carr House signal a changing approach to housing and homelessness in Western Australia. Not only will Wyn Carr House deliver lasting social benefits to the community, it will also benefit the State by reducing the financial burden on the health and justice systems, and the community services sector.

A word from Housing All Australians (WA) Chair, Lee Rossetto

“The Housing All Australians / Uniting WA collaboration came together when Robert Pradolin and I met with Uniting WA executive members two years ago and explained how we’d like to bring together purpose-led private sector organisations and businesses in our network to donate professional services, building materials and other goods and services to work with Uniting WA to repurpose un-used housing stock to provide much needed, high-quality housing for older women who are homeless or facing homelessness. 

Our first project at Wyn Carr House, Fremantle, has been enormously rewarding.  We’ve been overwhelmed by the generous support offered by so many of our colleagues and peers.  Without exception, everyone we’ve approached has made a contribution, largely because they want to be part of the solution to this significant social problem and also because they can make a meaningful and tangible impact.

We are now well on our way to transforming a moth-balled 100-year-old house into a world-class facility for 12 women in need at a fraction of the cost.  It is something everyone can be proud of.

Our pro bono partners and supporters

The transformation of Wyn Carr House would not be possible without the generous contributions from the Department of Communities Social Housing Economic Recovery package and our pro bono partners and supporters.

“MinterEllison is proud to provide substantial pro bono legal support to the Wyn Carr Project over an extended period, including property, planning, construction, tax, commercial and procurement.

It is extremely rewarding to be part of such an innovative project working with Uniting WA and other partners who are amongst the best and brightest in the local property and construction sectors.

The project is perfectly aligned with our Firm’s purpose to create lasting impacts in our community.”

– Lee Rossetto, MinterEllison, Partner

“Wyn Carr House is a platform for change that allows me to grow and understand the issues around homelessness.

As an architect, I need to listen, learn and engage with the complex issues that face my generation, offer my expertise unconditionally, finding creative and economical solutions that better the lives of those less fortunate.”

– Christopher Foy, Associate Director, Cox Architecture.

“The opportunity to use my skills to contribute to a project which will assist and empower vulnerable women in our community to create better lives for themselves is one that I will be forever grateful for.

Facilities such as Wyn Carr House provide valuable support for women and offer safe and stable accommodation, allowing these women to shift focus from meeting basic survival needs, to planning for and establishing an independent future for themselves.”

– Michelle Clarke, Project Manager, RPS

Be part of the solution

Unite with us to build an innovative state-of-the-art space to support older women experiencing, or at risk of homelessness.

With an ambitious plan to have the refurbishment and contemporary green build completed by the end of 2023, Uniting WA is seeking support to help us close the funding gap to ensure Wyn Carr House becomes a reality.

Partnership and supporter enquiries

To learn more about how you can support this WA-first project, please contact us.
Email: partners@unitingwa.org.au
Call: (08) 9220 1222

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Wyn Carr House project, please visit our Wyn Carr House donation page.

A brief history of Wyn Carr House

Wyn Carr House is a historic Fremantle property and was constructed in 1923 as a minister’s residence for the Fremantle Wesley Mission.

The property served as the minister’s residence from 1923 until 1978 when the Fremantle Central Methodist Mission Welfare Committee, after consultation with the City of Fremantle, was elected to repurpose the property to support the growing need for a women’s refuge in Fremantle.

Wyn Carr House opened in May 1978.  In 2006, Uniting WA (then UnitingCare West) took over the running of Wyn Carr House. The property continued to operate as a women’s refuge until July 2019, when changes to the delivery of services and the condition and suitability of the building contributed to the decision to close the service.

It has become clear that there is an urgent need to provide medium-term, transitional accommodation to women who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness. With this in mind, Uniting WA has committed to the redevelopment of the property in a way that honours the heritage of both the building and the services that have previously operated from Wyn Carr House.

The transformation of Wyn Carr House will honour the legacy of Winifred (Wyn) Emily Carr, a woman known for supporting vulnerable women in the Fremantle area.

About Winifred Carr

Winifred (Wyn) Carr was well known to the Fremantle community through her lifelong dedication to supporting women and children. She was a youth club leader for teenagers, a Girl Guide Leader and a hospital, prison and home visitor.

She established the Thrift Shop next door to the Fremantle Wesley Church to support the work of the Church’s Welfare Committee and worked tirelessly and with kindness in the City of Fremantle. She is still remembered with fondness by many people in the community. Wyn Carr passed away in 1977.