Opening of Vinnies Resource Centre in Port Macquarie
A new Resource Centre located at St Vincent de Paul Society’s Hastings Accommodation Solutions (HAS) is opening, offering access to caseworkers, resources and educational programs to people in Port Macquarie experiencing homelessness and disadvantage.
Denis Walsh, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW President, will be officially opening the Centre on 2 March.
“We are grateful to the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation. Their grant of $57,000 has allowed us to deliver more programs and services to help people experiencing homelessness build their resilience and find long-term accommodation and employment,” he said.
It is estimated that currently of the nearly 500 people experiencing homelessless every night across the Port Macquarie Hastings area as many as 150 are young people.
The Society plays a significant role in meeting the needs of local people experiencing disadvantage. HAS provides families and single people short term housing in seven self-contained units at McCosker House.
“Last year HAS helped more than 300 adults and children. That number of people in need continues to grow each year, clearly pointing to an urgent need for an expanded and coordinated service to help support our region’s homeless and at-risk population, before they lose their homes.
“Case managers at the Centre will help individuals and families secure stable housing and enhance their opportunities for educational, economic and social participation,” explained Yvonne Wynen, Lismore Central Council President.
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Executive Officer Graham Batten said the new Centre would provide a hub for the range of services available in the region.
“People experiencing homelessness within the Port Macquarie area currently have no central access point where they can receive a range of support, resources or referrals to appropriate services, material aid, tenancy education or information,” he said.
“The aim of the Resource Centre is to turn the tide of homelessness and family breakdown in the Mid-North Coast. By accessing the programs and facilities offered clients will have the opportunity to build a new life, which would be a fantastic outcome,” Mr Batten said.
The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million annually, totalling over $15 million to date, for projects and programs which support and assist young people or improve health and wellbeing outcomes for the disadvantaged throughout the Hunter, Mid North Coast, Central West, Central Coast, Northern Rivers and New England regions.