Emergency housing to change hands after 25 years

Candice Morrell (right) is joined by case worker Julie Hathaway at the Monaro Crisis Accommodation Service.

Candice Morrell (right) is joined by case worker Julie Hathaway at the Monaro Crisis Accommodation Service.

DESPITE facing an uncertain future the Monaro Crisis Accommodation Service (MCAS) remain upbeat after losing the tender to operate the region's Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS) under the Going Home, Staying Home program.

For 25 years MCAS has been the point of call for people facing homelessness throughout the Monaro, offering crisis accommodation for men, women, couples and families.

Mission Australia will take over the region's SHS package from November, after being awarded the tender from the NSW Government.

MCAS who currently offer four emergency accommodation units will continue to run the service until the end of October.

Candice Morrell, the Manager of MCAS, says disadvantaged people in the Monaro will still be catered for once Mission Australia takes over, however the local aspect in helping people may be lost.

"We have really well established networks and can offer our clients a very tailored service," Mrs Morrell said.

"Many of our clients have come to know the case workers and have a very good rapport with them.

"Our organisation is looking to do whatever we can to keep our doors open."

MCAS provide not only emergency accommodation, but advocacy programs, assisting people with living skills and facilitate ways for people to pay off state debts.

Country Labor Candidate Steve Whan has criticised the government for failing to assist a local service.

"The government has received well deserved criticism for its actions in putting long running services out to tender," Mr Whan said.

"They then award these tenders to groups who have not previously operated in a local community."

Member for Monaro John Barilaro says the region will see no reduction in homelessness services, rebuking Mr Whan's claims that there will be no future emergency accommodation in Cooma.

"Under the Going Home, Staying Home reforms, there will be no reduction in funding for homelessness services in the Monaro," Mr Barilaro said.

"Mr Whan is defending a system that was broken; a system that failed to reduce homelessness in NSW."

MCAS will begin transitioning their operations over to Mission Australia from July, 31.

"I want to reassure people MCAS is still going to operate throughout the transition period until the end of October," Mrs Morrell said.

"We don't yet know the package Mission Australia has put together, we should know in the next fortnight."

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