Carla Wilson (centre) with Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation's Graeme Batton and St Vincent De Paul Society NSW President Denis Walsh at the new centre this morning.
Hastings Accommodation Services has launched a new centre to help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the mid north coast.
The Vinnies-affiliated service opened the Homeless Resource Centre this morning.
The new facility sees HAS expand out to the garage area of its Table Street address, an upgrade funded with the help of a $57,000 grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.
“This has been a two year project for our organisation,” Carla Wilson, HAS’ team leader.
“We recognised we had a need in our community to assist people sleeping rough or staying in temporary accommodation. We wanted to be able to provide them with a safe, supportive environment.”
The new centre allows people in need to access the internet, attend tenancy education programs and get one-on-one support with caseworkers, among other services.
Ms Wilson says alcohol and mental health support organisations will also be able to use their space to meet clients.
“We’ve also had funds allocated to run programs, so we can bring in facilitators form outside the organisation who can run living skills and healthy eating courses.
“Most of our clients are engaged with other services, and they can come sit here and meet with a client, and work around their issues and plans with those people.”
On any given night, it’s estimated nearly 500 people experience homelessness in the Port Macquarie Hastings area, among them 150 young people.