Mid-year opening scheduled for Benjamin Short Grove homeless shelter

File photo.
File photo.

The opening of the Benjamin Short Grove aged care facility for homeless people is set for the middle of this year.

Mission Australia’s NSW/ACT director Ben Carblis said the facility would support aged homeless people in Orange.

The facility is located on the Bloomfield hospital campus and has cost $16.7 million.

“It’s a really important for the Orange community. There’s been a need for it and we expect the opening in the next few months,” Mr Carblis said.

As well as providing 60 single rooms, the facility will have four pods of 15 rooms and 24-hour specialist nursing services.

Benjamin Short Grove is set for an official opening later this year.

The completion of Benjamin Short Grove follows the announcement of additional funding for homeless services by the federal government in last week’s budget.

Mr Carblis welcomed the $375 million commitment from the federal government.

“The key take out from the budget this year is that we’ve been advocating for funding certainty,” he said.

Mr Carblis said he understood the funding grant to be permanent, which would allow providers like Mission Australia to continue its programs.

He said the organisation was one of the largest providing homelessness specialist services, hosting 105,000 people across the nation on any given night.

While welcoming the funding from the federal budget, Mr Carblis warned there was one in seven people over the age of 55 at risk of homelessness.

“People are under rental stress and the budget didn’t really talk about the issue provide any help for people in rental stress,” he said.

Mr Carblis said if rental stress wasn’t addressed, it would mean more funding would be needed for homeless services.