A commemorative tree was planted at youth refuge Emerge on Friday to mark 40 years since youth service Veritas opened its doors in the Central West.
The Emerge refuge, formerly the Orange & District Youth Refuge, moved from Lucknow to its current Orange location in 2007, and in 2014 it became part of Veritas.
It houses up to six young people aged from 12 to 18 at any one time.
"A lot of our referrals are a result of family breakdown," said Veritas CEO Jody Pearce.
"When all the options are exhausted they get referred to us.
"These children come to us in crisis and they are at significant risk of harm due to violence and drug and alcohol abuse - we're the last resort."
Emerge helps about 150 children and young adults per year.
Those who attend school or have jobs are dropped to their destination of a weekday morning, and those who don't spend their day at Veritas house on Sale Street, where they have access to a range of services.
Mayor Reg Kidd helped dig a hole into which an Acacia Blackwood was planted.
He praised the quality of top soil and said the tree, which would attract honeyeaters, would be around when Veritas marked its 50th birthday.
"Anything to do with youth and domestic violence, the community has to take ownership," Cr Kidd said.
"It's very important that we as a community are involved, and we put our heart and soul into it - from a personal point of view and a council point of view we support it 500 percent, and we always will."
Veritas team leader Ty Mostyn said that clients at Emerge generally settled in quickly "because it's like a home environment".
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