Western Homeless Connect event to kick off National Homelessness Week
Veritas House has announced the first ever Homeless Connect event to be staged in Western NSW will be held at the Orange Function Centre on Friday 2nd August.
Made possible through the support of Family and Community Services (FACS), Western Homeless Connect will be a free event attracting individuals from across the Western region who are either homeless or at risk of being homeless, and will showcase available support services in an inclusive and respectful environment.
The event will be based on Homeless Connect events held annually in the Sydney and Hunter region over the past decade and is timed to take place on the eve of National Homelessness Week, which commences on August 4.
“We believe the inaugural Western Homeless Connect will be an exciting event for the region,” said Veritas House CEO, Jody Pearce. “By having more than 30 support services easily accessible in the same location, we hope to strengthen the support network available for people who are experiencing homelessness or just doing it tough.
“We also hope that this event will help break down the stigma about homelessness in the region and encourage enhanced community support in the future,” said Jody.
Services registered to attend include education and employment providers, legal and financial aid, specialist homelessness services, health, mental health and disability providers. Event attendees will also be provided with morning tea and lunch by local services St Vincent’s De Paul, TAFE NSW and Ashcroft’s IGA’s Let’s Make Better.
“Western Homeless Connect is an event for anyone who is having trouble paying the bills, finding a job, or a place to stay and we hope to attract people from across the region by providing free community transport from Bathurst, Cowra, Dubbo and Parkes so that anyone who needs support can access it,” explained Ms Pearce.
“However, we have limited transport places available, so anyone interested in booking a free return ticket should call us today on 1300 01 1973 or visit our website for more information: www.veritashouse.org.au/whc.”
Kenny Spring Solicitors ‘Winter Wills’ in Support of Veritas House
Kenny Spring Solicitors in Bathurst and Oberon has again announced that for the month of July, 10% of fees generated from any new and existing Wills, Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardian drafted by Kenny Spring will be donated to Veritas House. This is the second year that Kenny Spring Solicitors has supported Veritas through the campaign.
Veritas Dubbo opens its doors
Veritas has opened an office at 58 Bultje Street, Dubbo in response to an increasing demand for Veritas’ services in the region. Veritas currently has clients located at Bourke, Lightning Ridge, Coonamble and Warren, and the Dubbo office is the ideal hub location from which staff can outreach to provide services.
Veritas launches fundraising appeal to support homeless youth in Orange
Veritas House has launched a fundraising appeal to raise $250,000 to purchase a Transitional Youth Housing property in Orange to assist young people who are exiting crisis accommodation to transition into independent living. “For many young people experiencing homelessness that stay at our crisis accommodation 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, low incomes and with Orange having one of the lowest rates of rental properties available in NSW,” explained Veritas House CEO, Jody Pearce.
Local support assists young people with study and skills
Veritas House has received $1,500 from the Findex Community Fund, the charitable organisation of Crowe Horwath Bathurst’s parent company, Findex. Veritas will use the donation, combined with additional support received from businesses and the community, to establish a Veritas House Education and Employment Fund. Veritas will invest the funds, with the income earned annually used to support young people in the local region to pursue their vocational ambitions.
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation grant announced
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.
Veritas launches Christmas Giving Tree
Around 100 local children and young people will spend this Christmas in Foster Care and at youth refuges and Veritas House is calling on local residents and business to help bring some Christmas cheer to these special young people.
Local Foster Carers recognised for work with children and young people
Local Foster Carers, Deb and Gerry Green were today announced recipients of the Deb Elsley Memorial Award by Veritas House as part of their Foster Care Week celebrations. The award acknowledges the significant contribution that Deb and Gerry have made in providing a safe and supportive home environment to more than 13 children and young people over the past five years, and assisting them to grow and develop in a happy and healthy way.