Australian Homelessness Week is running from 1 – 7 August. To illustrate some of the issues faced by many people experiencing homelessness, here is a story from one of our clients. Much gratitude to Sarah for sharing her story with us.
Hi I’m Sarah. I’m a 72 year old woman and have been living in a small country town. I was in my last home for 6 years, when the landlord gave notice that he needed to move back into the property. In fact, what the landlord ended up doing was evicting me, increasing the rent significantly and then he leased the property to new people.
For 25 years I had been a foster carer, until recently when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I needed to give up work to undergo lifesaving treatment. So I have been unable to afford any rentals as there has been a huge increase in the prices and demand for houses.
With just enough money in my savings to put together bond and two weeks rent, this meant I have been unable to get into emergency temporary accommodation. I have also been given guardianship of my granddaughter, but of course I can’t accept the responsibility until I find a place of my own.
I have nowhere to live and support services are unable to assist me with emergency accommodation or even a level of hope for finding a place. Illness, rent increases and situations beyond my control have placed me in this position. I have spent this winter sleeping in my car, despite being a woman with a strong working background.
Sarah’s name and photo have been changed to protect her identity.