Following more than three years of fundraising, local youth service Veritas House has purchased a two-bedroom flat which will be used to support local young people transitioning from homelessness to living independently.
Veritas House launched its fundraising appeal in December 2018 in response to a desperate shortage of affordable properties available to support vulnerable young people in the Orange region. Despite rising property prices and fires, floods and Covid impacting fundraising efforts during this time, strong community support has helped raise more than $280,000 to enable the property purchase.
According to Veritas House CEO, Jody Pearce, while a further $40,000 is still needed to own the property outright, the critical need meant that Veritas could not delay purchasing a suitable property.
“This is an incredibly exciting milestone for Veritas House and could not have been possible without the overwhelming support of businesses, individuals and community groups who have supported our fundraising appeal over the past three years,” said Jody. ”
Veritas House reports that an average of 50 young people access crisis accommodation at their youth refuge in Orange each year, many of whom are unable to return safely to their homes. For these young people, it can be difficult to secure a lease in the private rental market with no prior rental history and limited finances.
The newly purchased property will be leased for six to nine months to young people transitioning into independence, with case workers providing support to obtain furniture, secure ongoing income, and learn budget and tenancy management skills. At the end of their lease, Veritas will provide a reference, and advocate and support the young people in securing long-term accommodation.
“The fundraising appeal kicked off in late 2018 when the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation committed $60,000 towards the renovation of a property,” said Jody.
“Now that we have raised sufficient funds to make a purchase, the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation’s grant will be used over the next few months to paint, re-carpet, install energy-efficient lighting and heating, and furnish the flat to make it a comfortable home for young people for years to come.
“The Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation grant is one of the largest that Veritas House has ever received, and we are so grateful that they recognised the value of this community project right from the start. We can now honour their commitment by making the property one that young people will be proud to maintain and call home.”
Tax deductible donations to the Veritas House Transitional Housing Appeal can be made at: https://veritashouse.org.au/donate/transitional-youth-housing-appeal/.