THE city's first ever "house of hope" aimed at offering a refuge to locals in times of personal crisis was officially opened on Saturday.
In one of the most significant mental health developments in Griffith's history, the ribbon was cut on Barnabas House, a facility providing 35 units and three full-time counsellors for the city's most vulnerable residents.
Local Baptist pastor Kevin Webb, whose energy and vision drove the project from concept to reality, described the facility as an all-of-community solution to an all-of-community issue.
"We've had zero government support for this, it has and will continue to be funded by the compassion of Griffith businesses and groups," Reverend Webb said.
"If someone is lost at sea, the government is prepared to spend million of dollars to save one life but when it comes to mental health, they seem to just want to cut funding.
"After all these years, to see the facility officially opened is a very satisfying feeling it feels like this might be the reason I was put on this planet."
He said already six clients had acknowledged the Kookora Street service had saved their lives.
More than 100 people were on hand for the official opening by Riverina MP Michael McCormack, including Griffith mayor John Dal Broi.
Among the guest speakers was Melissa Barton, whose late mother Val Rowe fought doggedly for a local mental health facility as founder and president of Griffith Suicide Awareness.
She described the opening as the "culmination of mum's dream", with the facility's two family units appropriately named Val Rowe House.
Also opened on the day was the Griffith Emergency Food Barn - a giant "pantry" of food for the needy.
"I want to thank Barnabas House, the Griffith community, local producers and the four local Rotary clubs for helping make this a reality," Tony Gatt from Foodbank said.
"This is a model of co-operation and collaboration and I wish we had something like this in every country town. Griffith has set the benchmark."
If you need help, you can contact Barnabas House on 6964 4927.