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Big donation buoys shelter

A HOMELESS shelter and advocate for domestic violence victims has been buoyed by one of its single biggest donations ever.

The Yacaaba Centre, based in Nelson Bay, has received a cheque for $10,000 it says will provide emergency relief to clients and even prevent homelessness.

“This will change the lives of the people we work with,” Yacaaba general manager Lynn Vatner said.

“The most important thing to our thinking is keeping a roof over people's heads.”

Ms Vatner said the money would flow directly into its emergency relief fund.

People who contact the centre who need financial assistance can then have bills paid for them.

“It could be help with the rent, money for a CPT greenslip and car rego or even their child's medical bill,” Ms Vatner said.

Soldiers Point Marina has supported numerous causes in recent years.

It has previously given Real Futures $60,000 for its work with school leavers to help prepare them for the workforce.

“We try to take care of the area we live in,” marina manager Darrell Barnett said.

“Our research found that the Yacaaba Centre has a proven track record and is able to show great results over a number of years, particularly with vulnerable women.”

Ms Vatner said donations like this were crucial when there's was little continuity of state funding.

“It just makes is so much easier to do our jobs,” she said.

“It's also very encouraging for us to know we have this kind of community support.”

Port Stephens police have recently joined the Safer Pathways program for women who have been the subject of domestic violence and will work more closely with the Yacaaba Centre.

“With Safer Pathways there's one point of entry so these women don't have to knock on numerous doors and repeat their story over and over again,” Ms Vatner said.

Soliders Point Marina said it would investigate further avenues of support for the shelter. Mr Barnett said this could include funds for emergency housing.

For further information, visit: yacaabacentre.com.au

Article source: Port Stephens Examiner – Thursday August 18, 2016

Caption: Yacaaba Centre general manager Lynn Vatner said a $10,000 donation from Soldiers Point Marina manager Darrell Barnett was crucial.

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