Families and vulnerable people in Northern NSW will have access to more face-to-face support services with the opening of a new Social Futures office in Lismore.

Social Futures is focussed on achieving positive change in communities and delivering programs across disability services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, along with housing, homelessness, employment, youth and mental health supports.

Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the new office will bring all Lismore-based teams together for the first time after the February-March flood event forced their closure.

“I am really pleased to see Social Futures get back on its feet again with new premises uniting vital workers under the one roof. This will help the community recover from the trauma and I know they will achieve positive social change for the region,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

“Having a physical presence in Lismore will continue to allow Social Futures to play an integral part in the recovery for those affected by the floods.

“We are all working towards ensuring vulnerable residents have access to the services they need and are sufficiently supported as they rebuild their homes and their lives.”

Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said Social Futures has a long history of working in partnership with the NSW Government to best support residents in need.

“The opening of this new office, as well as the funding Social Futures has received from the NSW Government, will ensure the dozens of dedicated staff can continue to operate on-the-ground recovery services where and when they are needed most,” Ms Cooke said.

Social Futures CEO Tony Davies said the organisation did not falter in its support for the region and local residents despite their offices being severely impacted by the floods.

“The refurbished space means our 120 staff can offer much-needed services to those who need it most. We look forward to welcoming everyone as we all work together for a brighter future ahead,” Mr Davies said.

Social Futures has received more than $11 million in funding from the NSW Government to improve outcomes for homeless people, young people and families.

In May, Social Futures received $500,000 in additional funding to support critical service delivery during the floods

In July, the NSW Government announced $4.5 million in grants for non-government organisations (NGOs) in flood-affected communities as part of the $13.3 million NGO Flood Support Program.

The grants were allocated among the seven highly impacted local government areas of Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.

Social Futures was one of 17 NGOs to recieve funding in the first group of grants. The other 16 NGOs included:

  1. Byron Youth Service;
  2. CASPA Services Ltd;
  3. Challenge Community Services;
  4. Kyogle Together Incorporated;
  5. Life Without Barriers;
  6. MacKillop Out of Home Care Service Ngunya Jarjum Aboriginal Child and Family Network;
  7. Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre Inc;
  8. Mullumbimby & District Neighbourhood Centre Inc;
  9. Murwillumbah Community Centre Inc;
  10. New School of Arts Neighbourhood House;
  11. Nimbin Neighbourhood & Information Centre Inc;
  12. Northern Rivers Community Gateway Incorporated;
  13. Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre;
  14. Third Sector Australia Ltd;
  15. United Protestant Association of NSW; and
  16. Wesley Community Services Limited.

Social Futures is located in the Westlawn Building, 29 Molesworth Street Lismore. Further information can be found at their website- external sitelaunch.