Ebenezer Home was established in 1968 in a private home and has since expanded to a number of homes in the northern suburbs of Perth, including Tuart Hill (Balcatta), Girrawheen, Marangaroo, and Balga. At first, it was an Aboriginal Education and Employment Hostel. In 1995 it provided emergency accommodation to up to 18 young women. In 2001 it offered supported crisis and medium-term accommodation for young people aged 15-25 years who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Ebenezer has been run by a private committee of management since around 1971 and in 2014 remained open, with Homes in Girrawheen and Marangaroo.
Ebenezer Home began in 1968 as an independent initiative of Mrs Hazel Hays. With the support of the Aboriginal Evangelical church, it gradually expanded. The functions of Ebenezer Home over the years have included boarding for Aboriginal students, and assistance and support for young people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. At various times, it accommodated young women or both sexes. It has always made services for Aboriginal youth a priority, but has admitted young people from non-Aboriginal backgrounds.
In 1971, Ebenezer Home was surveyed along with other Aboriginal and Education Hostels. It was described then as a 'boarding scheme' that was run by a private agency 'operated by church people with very strong religious convictions'. At that stage, Ebenezer was reported to have 'minimal contact with the Department of Native Welfare' (DNW), finding 'Departmental policy completely incompatible with their own goals' or not wishing to accept financial support 'at the expense of autonomy of action' (Wilson and Robinson, 1971, in Signposts, 2004).
The Telephone Directory from 1974-75 lists Ebenezer Hostel, located at 11 Milton Avenue, Tuart Hill.
In 1972, the child welfare responsibilities of the DNW were transferred to the Department for Community Welfare (DCW) and annual reports from later departments responsible for child and youth welfare sometimes mention the Ebenezer Home. In 1989, the Tuart Hill house (also referred to as the Balcatta house) run by Ebenezer Home was described by the Department for Community Services (DCS) as providing short to medium term accommodation for 'up to five culturally-dislocated Aboriginal females under 25 years' (Signposts, 2004).
In 1995, Ebenezer Home's Funding Agreement with the Department for Family and Children's Services outlined the purpose of the funded services, the service objectives and performance indicators. Ebenezer Home aimed to 'provide accommodation and support to help bring back the self-esteem of young women (with Aboriginal women as a priority) in an endeavour to lead them towards living independently.' (Signposts, 2004).
By 2002, the Service Agreement with the Department for Community Development (DCD) showed that Ebenezer Home provided crisis and transitional accommodation in houses in the Mirrabooka regions; crisis accommodation for up to five young people in a house in Girrawheen; and 'transitional accommodation' for up to eight young people in two houses in Marangaroo and Balga. Services at this time included 'supported accommodation, assessment and referral, brokerage, outreach, mediation, counselling, advocacy, support planning with achievable goals and assistance to access other services' (Signposts, 2004).
In 2018 Ebenezer Home provides female crisis accommodation in Girrawheen, and medium term independent accommodation in Marangaroo and Nollamara.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'History', in Ebenezer Home Supported Accommodation, Ebenezer Home, 2014, https://www.ebenezerhome.org.au/about-us; Information Services, Department for Community Development, Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, http://signposts.cpfs.wa.gov.au/pdf/pdf.aspx; Wilson, Katrin and Michael V. Robinson., Aboriginal Hostels in Perth : A Comparative Survey, Department of Native Welfare, [Perth, W.A.], 1971; The Telephone Directory Western Australia Perth, Classified Telephone Directory, (1974-75, p.465).
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 7 November 2018