A MAITLAND women’s refuge will quadruple the number of homeless people it can help after it won a state government tender to deliver specialised services.
Carrie’s Place will now assist homeless women, children and men, and those who are at risk of becoming homeless in Maitland and the Cessnock and Dungog Local Government areas.
The non-profit organisation has been helping women and children affected by domestic violence for three decades.
Manager Jan McDonald said the government’s latest reforms would allow them to help homeless people secure housing and help those at risk of losing their housing.
‘‘For 35 years we’ve been turning away seven out of every 10 requests – that’s the average – and we hope now that we will be able to say no to less people,’’ she said.
‘‘It is an expansion of what we are already doing and expanding will mean we will be seeing increased demand in Cessnock and Dungog, but at least we will be able to offer services in those areas that will help to meet some of the demand.’’
Family and Community Services Minister Gabrielle Upton and Maitland MP Robyn Parker will visit the organisation today to congratulate Ms McDonald and her team on their success.
Carrie’s Place submitted a report to the government last year that detailed how it would use the allocated funds to address homelessness.
Ms McDonald has since employed six more workers to help deliver the program and has secured access to 20 per cent more transitional housing in the Maitland area to help accommodate the extra clients.
The extra services are scheduled to begin on November 1.