AFTER years of petitioning for a mental health crisis facility in Griffith, a centre capable not only of housing people in need but also feeding them will throw open its doors this weekend.
Barnabas House will celebrate its official opening tomorrow after five years in development.
At the same time, the unique Griffith Emergency Food Barn – a giant pantry for local charities – will be unveiled.
Barnabas House has the capacity to house 48 people, including families, who are going through mental health crises or family relationship breakdowns and will offer counselling services as well as a place to stay.
Founder Kevin Webb said the facility would be directed less towards solving the city’s homelessness issues and more towards tackling the lack of amenities available to those living with mental illness.
“I think it’s great, it’s a really wonderful facility,” Reverend Webb said.
“It’s fantastic that Griffith people will finally have access to something like this.”
Reverend Webb said many of the people who sought refuge at his centre also needed assistance with food, which is where the Foodbank Food Barn came in.
The 20-foot converted shipping container, which will be kept at 18 degrees, will store a range of non-perishable pantry items such as pasta, rice, long life milk, sauces and cereals – all shipped from Foodbank’s Sydney depot.
The brainchild of local Foodbank produce manager Lou Revelant, the food barn will be open to all Foodbank-affiliated charities who need emergency food for Griffith people in need.
Mr Revelant said the food barn, which was the first of its kind, was capable of storing 10 pallets of food and charities would only need to pay a small handling fee to gain access.
He said a number of local charities and businesses had pulled together to make the food barn possible.
The food barn will be managed by a delegation of volunteers and will be open for two to three hours each week, but will also be accessible in times of emergency.