A vital service provider for local people at risk has found a new home.
For about a decade Caresouth staff have worked in a cramped office space, converted squash courts, on Haigh Street, Nowra.
Soon, they will have three times the floor space, and the capacity to employ between 20-30 extra staff at a new office on Enterprise Ave, South Nowra.
When you look at social disadvantage, in this area we probably have a greater level of disadvantage than across Australia in generalCaresouth’s Shoalhaven regional manager Michael Mason
There will also be improved parking facilities for clients, who, at times, struggle to find a nearby parking space in Nowra.
Caresouth secured a $1.525 million grant for the development under the federal government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Package in April last year.
READ MORE:A well-deserved boost for Caresouth
Caresouth’s Shoalhaven regional manager Michael Mason welcomed Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis, Gilmore Liberal Candidate Warren Mundine and Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher for a BBQ to celebrate the upcoming sod turning at South Nowra.
Mr Mason said the new facilities would help Caresouth meet the needs of vulnerable community members.
“When you look at social disadvantage, in this area we probably have a greater level of disadvantage than across Australia in general,” he said.
“For instance, our youth homelessness services support people in a really critical time of their life, where they’re at a crossroads. One of the things we’ve put into the program, apart from accommodation we provide, is a program to help young people get their driver’s licence. Anyone who lives in this region knows without a driver’s licence, getting a job will be a real challenge. We have a local business which donated a car, we have volunteers, some from the navy base, to help young people get their hours up.
“The NDIS is one of the biggest-growing employment areas across Australia, certainly in these areas we find it hard to find good, qualified staff, certainly we want to bring these people into the organisation, give them skills they need to support vulnerable people in the community. There’s great opportunities for people to work locally, with their own communities and support vulnerable people.
“We’re looking at opportunities to build those programs, so we can help more people in need.
“Having this facility will be part of the piece of the puzzle which will allow us to continue the work we’ve been doing in the community for more than 25 years.”
The funding will construct a new multi-purpose facility containing office space, meeting rooms, training facilities, call centre, family contact rooms and a community hub.