As one chapter closes on a much-loved part of Gunnedah’s welfare network, another opens.
The Salvation Army-run Hope House will close the doors on its Hopedale Avenue premises next month.
After five years providing community services such as drug, alcohol and financial counselling, lifestyle programs, food rescue initiatives and living skills workshops, Hope House will be no more.
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One concerned local resident said users of the Hopedale Avenue facility were gutted by news of its imminent closure.
“Everybody is just devastated,” he said.
“It’s not good.”
Gunnedah Salvation Army captain Richard Day said the Hope House closure was due to “financial reasons” and “restructuring purposes”.
At least one Salvation Army staff member in Gunnedah has been made redundant by the changes.
But captain Day reassured the community it will not lose any of its services or programs by the Hope House closure.
“It’s just a relocation,” he said.
All services currently offered at Hope House, will be relocated to its new Tempest Street building where additional options could also be offered later.
“We hope to provide more services there in the long run,” captain Day said.
Some concern was raised whether people who use Hopedale Avenue site would be able to access the new in-town venue.
But Day said the central location offered great benefits.
“We find people who are downtown and need the service, struggle to get up there [Hopedale Avenue] or don’t know where it is,” he said.
“Centralising the service will give greater access.”
Hope House in Hopedale Avenue will officially close on June 30.