In autumn last year, Veronica approached a volunteer at the Elizabeth Mission seeking AnglicareSA’s support. She appeared tired, had swollen eyes and could do with a bath. With her was a young girl who also looked a bit dishevelled.
Veronica told the volunteer she had moved to Adelaide from interstate wanting a fresh start after her relationship broke down. She relocated with her 14 year old son and 4 year old daughter. Together they lived in a modest private rental for 9 months; however, when Veronica was unable to find a stable job, her savings ran out and she fell behind on rent causing her eviction from the home.
With nowhere to go and in desperation to keep her children safe, Veronica’s only option was to live in her car. After four long months of living in the car, it became almost impossible for her to provide for her children and send her eldest son to school. It also became unsafe when her son resented sleeping in the car with his mum and little sister and started wandering the streets in search of alternative places to sleep.
Veronica feared for her son’s life and health and so with the little savings she had after doing a few odd jobs here and there, bought a one way bus ticket for her son to return interstate and live with his grandparents. Her 4 year old daughter stayed back with her as it would be very hard for the elderly grandparents to take care of both children.
With Veronica’s diminished resources, lack of clean clothes and limited access to technology it was almost impossible to look for work. She had become increasingly depressed about her future and was anxious to find suitable housing as the car was becoming too dangerous to live in.
After meeting with her, the volunteers at the Elizabeth Mission gave Veronica and her daughter a hot meal and some toiletries and food essentials to take away. Since winter was approaching, the volunteer also gave them some blankets and clothing to help keep them warm.
Further to ensuring that their immediate need was met that day, the volunteer booked an appointment for Veronica to come back and meet with one of AnglicareSA’s housing program staff to help work out longer term options.
AnglicareSA’s Northern Housing Inclusion Program supported Veronica to find accommodation options and nominated her for a supportive housing property. The program also assisted her by linking her to Centrelink for an income, a Job Network provider to look for employment and a GP to access a Medical Health Care Plan.
After about three months of working with AnglicareSA’s housing program and other government agencies, Veronica was able to move from her car to transitional accommodation with both her son and daughter again. She even enrolled her son back in school and we provided him with school essentials including sturdy shoes.
Now, Veronica has secured employment and is no longer feeling depressed or anxious about her family’s future.
With the support from the community, AnglicareSA was able to provide a safety net for when Veronica was doing it tough and helped her regain her confidence and is now looking at long-term housing options.