Challenge House to open at the end of the month

The 10-year wait for the region’s first transitional home is almost over.

Challenge Southern Highlands general manager Tony McElhinney, Dobsonei director Mark Dobson and Challenge Southern Highlands president Rod Aistrope.

Challenge Southern Highlands general manager Tony McElhinney, Dobsonei director Mark Dobson and Challenge Southern Highlands president Rod Aistrope.

Challenge House will officially open at the end of this month. 

The purpose of Challenge House is to enable an adult child who is currently living with their parents to transition to living independently.

The individuals who will reside in the house, located in Mittagong, will be given the skills to tend for themselves, cook, clean and to live outside of the umbrella of their families. 

When the residents are fully capable of living independently it is hoped that they would then move from the Challenge House into public housing.

The build officially began in April 2016 and Challenge Southern Highlands general manager Tony McElhinney said he was looking forward to the opening. 

“We are excited to see people [in the house] and it will be great knowing that we have achieved what we set out to do, that is transition people from living at home to living independently,” he said. 

While the opening isn’t far away, Mr McElhinney said Challenge Southern Highlands was still looking for donations for furnishings.

“The [building] cost exceeded what was planned by a couple hundred thousand dollars so we are asking for cash donations to acquire what we need.”

The house cost $1.8 million to build but expenses blew out because of changes to the building code of Australia and various other alterations.

The project was supported by a $400,000 council grant and land donation, and a $900,000 state government Restart NSW grant.

Challenge House will accommodate 10 rooms with their own ensuite and tea making facilities, there will also be an onsite caretakers residence. The house will have a communal kitchen and dining area as well as a lounge and breakout room.

The residents will be supported to learn to live independently. They will learn to prepare meals, maintain their surrounds, live with other people and tend to the associated requirements of these activities.

If you can make a donation to Challenge House contact Tony McElhinney on 4872 6600. 

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