In August 1944, the Government leased the Cable Station to the Salvation Army for use as a women’s and children’s refuge, the only one in Sydney until the late 1970s. The building was made
available in an effort to address the acute housing shortage during wartime. Many women found refuge from violent marriages, misfortune and poverty. In 1965, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that hundreds of women and their young families had
passed through its doors. They sought shelter there, and were sometimes destitute, frightened and alone in the world. They were given food, shelter and spiritual comfort. The reporter was
immediately impressed by the informal air, the gay cretonne curtains, pastel coloured walls and the home-like atmosphere. The number of people staying could fluctuate between six and 51 at any time. Girls and boys of primary school age were accepted, and they attended La Perouse Public School. Children up to eight years old stayed with their mothers. The matron in 1965 was Major Ruth Fox, an officer for 30 years, who had been at La Perouse for six years. It continued operating as a refuge until it was closed in 1987 when NSW Public Works commenced work on the Laperouse Museum.