Women who are left homeless by family violence or mental illness have been thrown a lifeline in Footscray with the opening of McAuley House.

McAuley Community Services for Women chief executive Jocelyn Bignold says McAuley House, officially opening today, will provide a safe space for women who have experienced family violence and/or mental illness.

“We all deserve decent homes and supportive environments. We have a transformational building which we hope will stimulate change in the lives of those who live here,” she said.

“Ultimately, McAuley House is designed to foster a spirit of harmony and security, empowering women to achieve independence.”

Victoria’s first purpose-built accommodation and support hub for women who are homeless includes 25 individual en suite rooms, common meeting and recreational areas and a purpose-built medical room.

The new building also features artwork by renowned street artists including Alice Pasquini and Footscray’s Baby Guerrilla.

Ms Bignold says McAuley House’s mix of personal and communal space will allow women to recover from the impact of family violence and homelessness.

The $11 million project was funded with $7 million from the Sisters of Mercy and $4 million from the state government.

In addition to accommodation, the hub will provide education, employment, health, social and recreation programs.