Ask Izzy Expands To Provide Support For People Experiencing Family Violence


A mobile website which has been described as a “saviour” by people experiencing homelessness is to launch a new project to assist people fleeing family violence, with funding assistance from the NAB Foundation.
The Help at Hand project, an initiative from technology not for profit Infoxchange, will build on the Ask Izzy site, a one-stop shop to connect people with housing, meals, counselling,and health support.

It comes after Infoxchange secured one of six grants of up to $500,000 from the NAB Foundation to further develop Ask Izzy’s outreach to survivors of family violence, on the back of a successful launch in January 2016, with 400,000 site searches to date.

Infoxchange CEO David Spriggs said the Help at Hand project would enhance the site for women who had experienced family violence and further promote Ask Izzy as a way to connect women with essential services including housing, money help, support and counselling.

“We are committed to tackling family violence, and believe that technology can be an effective solution to providing better support for individuals affected by needless violence,” Spriggs said.

“With NAB’s support, we will be able to connect and empower more people who are experiencing family violence with Ask Izzy and help them find the support they need.”

Spriggs said people escaping family violence had been some of the most frequent users of Ask Izzy and made up the largest group of people searching for housing.

He said Ask Izzy was free and anonymous, and included more than 350,000 services including housing, meals, health care, counselling, legal advice and addiction treatment.

Council to Homeless Persons consumer advocate Vicky Vacondios said Ask Izzy was “a saviour” for the people she helped.

“The fact it is a one-stop destination for people to be able to find the appropriate services – I think that’s one of the brightest ideas someone has come up with,” Vacondios said.

The funding for Ask Izzy Help at Hand is part of a $1.4 million announcement, made on Saturday, by the NAB Foundation to assist in family and domestic violence and financial resilience initiatives.

NAB Foundation’s Thrive grants also went to the University of Melbourne’s evidence-based smartphone tool (e-Mate) which aims to raise awareness and encourage self-reflection for men who may be using violence in their relationships; and Two Good Co which delivers meals to survivors of domestic violence, and provides employment pathways for victims of domestic violence.

The Luke Batty Foundation also received $500,000 as did the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation and WIRE – Women’s Information, which supports the education and resourcing of finance professionals to help women improve their financial capabilities.

NAB CEO of consumer banking and wealth Andrew Hagger said the grants reflected NAB’s commitment to supporting organisations that help Australians impacted by family and domestic violence and that help to build financial resilience.

“By extending the grants to a wider group of purpose-led organisations, the NAB Foundation can help support innovation in the philanthropic space, as well as continue to support established not for profits with their initiatives,” Hagger said.

“These organisations do such important work in the community every day, and these grants will help them continue to provide the products and services to address these very real and difficult situations.”

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