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Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Foundation.

Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Each year in the Bathurst region Veritas House assists over 150 young people aged 16-24 who are homeless. Many are escaping violent or abusive domestic environments and have no option but to leave home. Youth homelessness is often invisible to the general community as young people couch surf from place to place rather than “sleep rough”. Couch Surfing is unstable and uncertain and often puts young people in situations where they are at risk. Having no fixed address makes it difficult to get a job, find permanent accommodation or have a normal social life.

Veritas House breaks the cycle of homelessness by providing accommodation in a self-contained unit for a 6 month period to young people transitioning from a homeless refuge. The unit is rented to the young person at below market rate and they are provided with support to learn about managing their finances and home management skills. For many tenants the unit is the first home where they have been able to feel safe.

At the end of the lease, Veritas House provides a rental reference to young people just like ‘Annie’ which assists them to secure long term accommodation in Bathurst’s highly competitive rental market.

After Annie’s stay in the unit, she was empowered with valuable life skills as well as a new sense of self-confidence. This has enabled her to get a place of her own, complete her studies and work. Annie has no doubt that without the help of Veritas her life would be very different to the one that she has now.

The current unit was purchased in 2014 and was in desperate need of a renovation. The kitchen was over 30 years old and the furnishings had seen better days. Operating the unit on a non-commercial basis meant Veritas did not have the funding to be able to improve the home as extensively as they would like and applied for a Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Grant. 

A $50,000 grant from the Charitable Foundation enabled the unit to be fully renovated to include a new kitchen, bathroom and laundry as well as new furnishings. The result is a unit that tenants can take pride in while rebuilding their life and an asset that will benefit the Bathurst community by breaking the cycle of homelessness and disadvantage for generations to come.

Jody Pearce, CEO of Veritas House said “The transformation of the unit would not have been possible without the assistance of the Charitable Foundation.”

A lot of the young people that we assist are escaping a negative home environment, which often involves an abusive, violent or broken home.
To have a special place like this unit for them to live in is wonderful; these young people deserve a beautiful and safe home,” said Jody.

Beautifully styled living room
A complete renovation.

Jody Pearce: This property represents a new beginning...This property is for some people the first time they felt safe.

When young people are referred to Veritas, they are often in crisis and they need accommodation.

Sharon Jones: Homelessness is a huge issue in Bathurst, we've worked with in the last year over 150 young people that have been homeless.

Jody Pearce: The board decided to purchase this property in 2014 to address the lack of affordable housing options for young people in Bathurst.

The paint was not good, the flooring was pretty rough with holes in it, and the kitchen certainly was at least 30 years old so we needed to renovate.

We did not have the scope or the funding so we needed to really reach out to Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.

I think that our values align in terms of really being passionate about assisting young people to get back on their feet in our community.

It's been a complete transformation from where it was six months ago to what it is now.

Sharon Jones: They deserve to have a nice place to live, I think that's really important.

I'm really excited to see see the next young person come in here and stay here.

Jody Pearce: It's just an exciting opportunity that we wouldn't have been able to do without the support of the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.

‘Annie’: They really got me ready to sort of be on my own, and the skills that I needed to live on my own.

I studied early childhood education. The job that I'm at now it just sort of popped up....I've got another place now and I know Veritas are always still there to help me as well.

Sharon Jones: That's probably why we do it.

Is to see young people like Annie be able to come from a situation where I'm sure she probably felt quite helpless.

And then to be able to move on and is now living independently, she studied she's working, like that's our dream, that's what we're here for.

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