Australian Homelessness Week – Vivian’s story

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 Vivian for sharing her story with us.

Hi, I’m Vivian. I’m 51, homeless and there is very little I can do other than hope that one day I will have a place of my own. For the last 8 years I looked after my mother until she passed away right in the middle of COVID, that was 10 months ago.

 

So I don’t have any rental history, and at my age in this rental environment it’s almost impossible to get a property when you have no rental records or ledgers. I don’t have a car so I walk to places I can manage that allows me to get to house viewings. Inevitably I am lining up with 30-60 others all vying for the same properties.

 

I move every night and hide my goods during the day so that I don’t look too homeless. Most days I use services where I can get a wash. I have a jug that I plug into outside electricity points on the outsides of many buildings. I have a can of fly spray and a whistle because sometimes I get scared…

 

People treat me differently when they know that I am homeless. It makes me feel like I am not a full human – a little less than the others who live under a roof. Not quite the real value of a human.

Vivian’s name and photo have been changed to protect her identity.

Many tracks, one road, sustaining community.

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