Wagga’s Micah House will be closed temporarily as it undergoes a facelift to become the St Vincent de Paul Society’s “one-stop shop” for people seeking assistance.
It will close on September 15 for renovation and re-open in the new year in its new format.
The Gurwood Street facility currently provides a drop-in service for meals or to welcome people experiencing homelessness or coping with mental health issues.
However, St Vincent de Paul’s Wagga central council felt there was a substantial duplication in the services provided by Micah House and the nearby Edel Quinn complex, which is also run by the charity organisation.
The central council decided to change the focus of Micah House from a place where people receive a hand-out to a hub “where they were offered a hand-up”.
“At a recent visioning event with members, volunteers and employees, we looked at how the society could better provide services to those most in need in our community,” central council president Jenni Duff said.
“How could we cut duplication within our support service model and save resources and funds, which can be utilised more effectively in supporting those most in need?”
St Vincent de Paul delivers services out of several facilities within the Wagga regional council area, including Micah House, Edel Quin and the Care and Support Centre, so the change means more help will be available in one place.
“They will receive sustainable assistance and case management support to address the issues which impact on their ability to live independently,” Ms Duff said.
“They may require assistance through Edel Quin where we offer crisis accommodation and case management services. Or we could set up a loan through our No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS), or provide emergency relief around food and bills, financial counselling, welfare support, advocacy and life skills, and psycho-social programs.”
Until Micah House re-opens, people can go to Edel Quin for a meal and to take advantage of services and programs as well as case management support.
“Services will be transitioned from Micah House to Edel Quinn in the coming weeks so people can get used to the new surroundings and services. We are very excited about our new wrap-around service approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and disadvantage,” Ms Duff said.