Homeless youth services in the Shoalhaven have been given a boost thanks to Southern Cross Housing.
Through its connection with insurance company AON Insurance, Southern Cross Housing was able to secure a willing workforce to give CareSouth’s youth accommodation in Moss Street, Nowra a much needed makeover.
Southern Cross Housing insures more than 1000 local properties with AON Insurance. Each year AON nominates a number of projects which its employees can assist with.
Staff from across the country attend a special development program and as part of that initiative they spend a day working in local communities, undertaking local projects.
Fifty AON staff members tackled painting the interiors of CareSouth’s eight unit accommodation block.
In a job that would have taken CareSouth a considerable amount of time and cost, the project was completed in an afternoon and just for the cost of the paint.
It is the third year in a row AON has undertaken projects in the Shoalhaven.
Two years ago it helped SAHSSI [Supported Accommodation & Homelessness Services Shoalhaven Illawarra] with work at the local women’s refuge and last year undertook similar work at another specialist accommodation.
CareSouth’s Shoalhaven Youth Support Services manager Rob Wilson said the help was superb.
“We have provided this accommodation and homeless services for youths aged 16-24 in Moss Street for a number of years,” he said.
“It was one of our earliest established programs around 25 years ago.
“Certainly we get government funding but like a lot of organisations would always like to receive more.
“That’s why when a group comes in and offers to help us like this it’s great.
“Saving the money on having to pay painters to do the work, is money we can put into our programs.”
The units house eight young people, both male and female, offering short term accommodation for between six to eight weeks while they get themselve established.
“This is really a transitional property,” Mr Wilson said.
“The young residents are either at school, studying or just starting work but at risk of being homeless.”
Mr Wilson said the residents can also be referred to other outreach services for longer-term accommodation for up to 12 months which CareSouth operates.
“And importantly at the end of it all they get a rental reference which will help them gain other rental accommodation,” he said.