Housing Plus is soon to commence renovations to transform the former Opal aged care facility in Boyd Street, Kelso, into a local service base for a range of its community services as well as a multipurpose centre for residents and groups of Kelso/South Bathurst and the wider community.
The new Housing Plus Connect office will contain meeting, conference and event facilities for up to 60 people. Housing Plus will also relocate its existing Bathurst-based community services to the centre. These include tenancy and maintenance services and its training and employment program, Opportunity Pathways, which supports social housing clients to access practical and financial assistance, training and work opportunities to help them prepare for employment, find a job, work more hours or improve their employment options. From 1 July, the Bathurst and Lithgow Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service will also operate from there as will the team responsible for building 51new homes currently under construction on Bathurst.
The Catholic Diocese of Bathurst purchased the property in late 2019 and has since entered into a lease agreement with Housing Plus to manage and operate the premises. Housing Plus is a not for profit, charity that provides both accommodation and community services and has operated in Bathurst for over 30 years.
Housing Plus CEO, David Fisher, says, “We have outgrown our current Howick Street office and with a range of new community services we were looking for new premises. This arrangement with the Diocese is ideal as it brings back into use a large facility for community use.’
As part of the renovation process, the Diocese and Housing Plus have distributed furniture to the local homelessness service in Bathurst. The Rotary Club of Bathurst Daybreak is helping Housing Plus to distribute the medical equipment and furniture left at the aged care facility when the patients were relocated.
The medical equipment will be going to a charity called Donations in Kind who will be accepting the beds, battery operated lifters, walking frames and wheelchairs and donating them to hospitals in the Pacific Region.
“Members of the Rotary Club of Bathurst Daybreak have donated their time to assess the equipment and make it ready for transport to their warehouse in Castlehill. From here it will be distributed throughout the Pacific region with the first shipment to Timor-Leste. This has been a most valuable gift and we have been delighted to work with Housing Plus and the Catholic Diocese in this way” said Erik Mol, Club President.
Photo Caption – L to R: Fr Paul Devitt, the Vicar General, Catholic Diocese, Irene Jones, Rotary Club of Bathurst Daybreak, Gary Wright, Manager Assets & Procurement, Housing Plus, Erik Mol, President, Rotary Club of Bathurst Daybreak, David Fisher, CEO, Housing Plus