Our History

The Haven Foundation was formed in 2006 with the aim to raise funds and provide housing for people with mental illness.

The Haven Foundation recognises that permanent, affordable and integrated housing is fundamental to the recovery process of people living with mental illness. It aims to foster pathways to recovery by creating an environment in which it is possible for people to grow.

The Haven Foundation grew from a group of passionate and focussed individuals who met in 2005 and set up the Interdependent Homes for People Needing Assistance (IHPNA) Committee in 2005. As carers and family members their lived experience provided them with a deep understanding of the impact of mental illness on the individual, family and broader community.

IHPNA (now known as the Havenhub Committee) aims to:

  1. Provide socially and financially disadvantaged individuals living with mental illness the opportunity to access housing which provides normality and stability.
  2. Provide a sense of permanency in housing and daily living support which is not provisional upon involvement with any support programs.

After a number of years of discussion and planning, the committee was successful in negotiating a 40 year lease of a former convent from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria.

The Havenhub Committee was renamed in 2009. In time the need to raise funds led the Committee to establish a Trust and The Haven Foundation was established with the express purpose to:

“Provide accommodation and daily living support for socially and financially disadvantaged individuals living with mental illness.”

The Haven Foundation will raise funds to be placed in The Haven Foundation Trust, to be used for housing and support. It will seek assistance from benevolent funds, private donors, sponsors and the corporate sector. The Haven Foundation plans to continue to develop long term accommodation options for those living with mental illness.

Members of the 2009 HavenHub Committee


Pictured above: L to R, Dawn Kay, Christine Smedley, Rosalie Cotter, Isabel Cid, Elizabeth Byrne, Carmel Thomas