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The S.H.I.F.T Project

Employment for at-risk women

Employment for at-risk women

The Linen SHIFT is a social enterprise laundry service providing training, employment and support to women at risk of homelessness. The workplace is a learnin...

australia > NSW > regional
14/10/2020 > 14/10/2021


  • Employment pathways
  • Individual/family services & support


  • Women and girls
  • People experiencing or at risk of homelessness


The Linen SHIFT is a social enterprise laundry service providing training, employment and support to women at risk of homelessness. The workplace is a learning environment where participants acquire work readiness skills by practicing them in a real job. Employment is coupled with training, mentoring and skill development to gain long-term employment. Women are provided case management support to address individual needs and help ensure a sustainable future.

We are looking for $15,466.55 to purchase an industrial washing machine for this program. This extra machine will allow us to offer employment to a greater number of women experiencing disadvantage and unemployment since COVID. The Linen SHIFT is a self-sufficient social enterprise benefiting increasing numbers of local women, without the need for ongoing external funding beyond this start-up phase

Launching in March 2020, we have been able to operate throughout the pandemic and providing ongoing employment to at-risk local women. We have adapted to the needs of our community during this time, expanding our criteria to include young mothers and women experiencing physical limitations. We have flexibly adapted program hours and roles to accommodate the needs of these women. We are the only industrial laundry operator in our region and have been deemed an essential local service. We have adopted the most up-to-date hygiene practices, social distancing regulations, and use of PPE as required. Increasing levels of unemployment have made need for jobs and training in viable businesses more important than ever before, particularly in hospitality focused, tourist-driven locations like the Northern Rivers.


Funding for the purchase of an industrial washing machine would enable us to provide employment and support to an increased number of at-risk women. We aim to employ at least 18 women in the first twelve months of project operation, and a five-year projection would see upward of 100 women participating in the project. The project aims to deliver positive, long-term change for these women by achieving the following measurable outcomes:

Outcome 1: Women have an immediate, stable income. Measure: Number of women who are employed as participants in The Linen SHIFT.

Outcome 2: Women gain on-going employment. Measure: Percentage of women who secure employment post-program participation.

Outcome 3: Women obtain/maintain stable housing. Measure: Percentage of women who are securely housed.

Outcome 4: Women decrease social isolation/increase their connection to their community. Measures: Percentage of women who report a decrease in isolation and an increase in community connection

Outcome 5: Women increase their financial well-being. Measure: Percentage of women who report the ability to afford costs of living and report satisfaction with their financial situation

Outcome 6: Women increase their skills and employability. Measures: Percentage of women who report an increase in skills relevant for local employment opportunities; Percentage of women who successfully complete The Linen SHIFT program.

Outcome 7: Women increase their self-esteem. Measures: Percentage of women who report an increase in self-worth measured via the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1993).

Profile of The S.H.I.F.T Project

The S.H.I.F.T Project

The SHIFT Project exists to support women experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the NSW Northern Rivers to move permanently out of disadvantage into independence and self-worth. We do this via our residential programs and transitional employment program.

Our residential programs provide unique individual support and education for at-risk women in a safe homelike environment. Women participate in activities that focus upon increasing financial independence, well-being and community connection with support from professional staff. All women who have participated in our program have transitioned to stable residential accommodation upon graduation, and 98% of our graduates live sustainably in the community with casual, part-time or full-time work

Our social enterprise laundry service, The Linen SHIFT, has been newly established to increase financial security and independence for disadvantaged women. Please see project description below for more detail.

SHIFT also provides outreach support to women in our community who are experiencing hardship and unable to access or navigate other support systems, and to graduates of our residential and employment programs.


TOTAL BUDGET: $343,935
Funding sourceAmount
Private foundations/donors$263,468
Byron Shire Council and Rous Water fee waiver$46,000
In Kind contributions$19,000
Funding gap$15,467
Expense itemAmount
Equipment (incl requested industrial washing machine cost)$99,548
Operating Costs$42,725
Set up costs$46,000

Support Employment for at-risk women

Got a question about this project or ready to contribute? Contact our Philanthropy & Impact Team.


As a broker of change, we invite social change initiatives to apply for funding. Eligible proposals are shared with our giving community via our Granting Opportunities directory.