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Home

06 May 2024
Anonymous 1. HOME. Individual
By Anonymous

I took this image to represent home and the integral importance of having one.

At the beginning of this year, I found myself part of a growing cohort of women, homeless and in the 50 plus age group category.

It’s a terrifying thought to be entering your 50s and to have such instability in your housing situation.

To be honest, I’d never had housing stability, abusive relationships spanning 31 years of my 50 meant home had never felt or been safe for me, childhood abuse from the age of 7 until I escaped into an even more abusive situation meant my only memories of a safe home were as a child living within the safe compounds of my grandmother’s home.

I had no superannuation to fall back on as I’d spent most of my adult life doing unpaid domestic work.

I was terrified of falling through the cracks of a grossly incompetent system and never being able to recover.

I’d witnessed it happening all around me, women my age living in tents, crashing on friends couches or living in their cars, smart educated women who’d fallen through the very cracks I was desperately trying not to slip into.

I was uneducated, unemployed and I no longer had a car to fall back on, I’d lived in my car before and I remember at the time giving up my car was such a difficult decision because it had provided me with such safety and sanctuary during a previous abusive relationship.

Without a car there was a real clear sense of vulnerability, no protection from any of the vast number of dangers women are susceptible to.

It’s a terrifying thought to face. Especially when you are facing that alone.

I remember sitting in the offices of Launch Housing in Collingwood after being told a few days prior that there was no more support or financial assistance for me after using up all my “crisis accommodation support” and meeting 2 housing outreach support workers who were about to deliver me news that would fundamentally change my life, in more ways than I could ever imagine.

I was initially shocked and stunned and couldn’t quite believe what they were saying to me.

I had a home.

I HAD A HOME.

HOME.

The sense of relief in that room on that day was palpable to all present, both of my workers mentioned this to me on several occasions.

We had succeeded in a system that was almost purpose built to fail. It was unheard of in the current housing crisis. I couldn’t quite believe that I had a home.

A home. My home. Safe home. I cried so hard, I couldn’t say thank you in enough ways or show them how much this meant to me.

I moved in immediately even though my furniture and belongings weren’t arriving for 2 more weeks.

I bought a blow-up mattress and cheap bedding at Kmart. The place was stark and barren so I immediately set about decorating it.

I scoured op-shops for old magazines to collage my walls with and I stumbled upon this rather kitsch little sign that perhaps previously I would never have looked twice at.

HOME.

I knew then that this somewhat tacky little sign was going to have permanent residence with me for the rest of my life, for every time I look at it, I’m reminded.

HOME.

Within a safe home we have space to dream and to hope

Within a safe home healing and recovery and growth can happen with infinite possibilities

Broken along the way, left alone without help.

Support given by many and different advice services.

We can build a better future for everyone.

Little bit at a time to add a bit of colourful life to guide us in the right direction.

A future that is maintained, looked after, and allowed to be comfortable for everyone.