The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has announced a $50,000 grant to Veritas House to renovate a one-bedroom Transitional Youth Housing flat in Bathurst which supports young people transitioning from homelessness to independent living.

The grant is the biggest single grant, outside of government funding, that Veritas has ever received, and according to Veritas House CEO, Jody Pearce will make a significant difference to the lives of local young people for years to come.

“For many young people experiencing homelessness that stay at the youth refuge and who cannot return safely to their homes, it can be difficult to secure a lease in the private rental market with no prior rental history and limited finances. Veritas owns a one-bedroom flat which we operate as a transitional youth housing property, leasing the property at below market rent to young people who are transitioning from homelessness to independence; and our case workers support them over a 3-6 month period to obtain furnishings, secure ongoing income, learn budgeting and tenancy management skills and develop a rental history. At the end of their lease we provide a reference and advocate and support them to secure long-term private rental accommodation,” explained Jody.

“Unfortunately, the rent generated does not always cover costs and, as a result, we have no funds to undertake long-overdue improvements, including replacing the kitchen and bathroom, painting and new carpet. The grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation will allow us to undertake these works and ensure young people can take pride in and maintain the property well into the future,” she said.

The grant was part of more than $230,000 in funding announced last week by Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation for community projects, initiatives and programs in the Central West region.

“The Charitable Foundation provides financial support to enable the critical work of community organisations that have initiatives and projects which may fall outside other funding avenues, but are still exceptionally important as they will improve the lives of marginalised members of our regional communities,” said Charitable Foundation Chair, Phil Neat.

The renovations are set to commence at the Veritas Transitional Youth Housing property in January and it is hoped will be completed in time for a new tenant to move into the revamped flat by the end of February.

The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in grants each year to facilitate charitable projects that address disadvantage in local communities throughout the Hunter, Central West, Central Coast, New England, Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers regions of NSW. Since its establishment in 2003, the Foundation has provided more than $19.1 million to 448 community initiatives.