Service reaches out to assist young

Working smart: More than 150 young people from The Hills turned out for the Street Smart Team's movie night on Thursday, including Bethany Hindeleh. They watched Guardians of the Galaxy. Picture: Natalie Roberts

Working smart: More than 150 young people from The Hills turned out for the Street Smart Team's movie night on Thursday, including Bethany Hindeleh. They watched Guardians of the Galaxy. Picture: Natalie Roberts

A SERVICE that helps young people who are homeless or in crisis in The Hills also now offers programs in the Blacktown local government area.

Saints Care Youth Services manager Kerry Lawrence said it had been named a preferred specialist homelessness services provider under the state government's Going Home Staying Home (GHSH) changes, with a tender for programs in both council areas.

"The [new] package includes opportunity to employ extra staff to service both the LGAs," Ms Lawrence said.

For 10 years Saints Care has been providing people aged 15 to 25 years in The Hills with accommodation, case management, counselling, mediation, outreach/brokerage support, information and referral support.

"We would touch at least 500 people a year," Ms Lawrence said.

Now the service will have offices in Castle Hill — at their usual Castle Street address — and a yet-to-be confirmed Blacktown location.

It will also have a new name, starting from November 1, when a new version of its programs begin to be delivered.

Under the GHSH reforms, 336 individual services across NSW have been consolidated into 149 new service packages that will be led by 69 non-government organisations, supported by their partner agencies.

Funding for specialist homelessness in western Sydney has been increased by 8.58 per cent under the program — from $12,533,225 to $13,608,960 — according to the GHSH website.

The website says providers who were not successful under the tender process have access to extended funding for up to 18 months.

"We're excited about moving forward and strengthening our network partnerships to be able to add value to not only our proposed program but also our proposed community partners and their programs," Ms Lawrence said.

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