Creating homes for the homeless through COVID
In an effort to keep vulnerable homeless Victorians safe through the COVID pandemic, EACH and our subsidiary housing service, EACH Housing, are pleased to have joined the Victorian Government’s From Homelessness to a Home (H2H) initiative. The H2H program assists community members placed in emergency hotel accommodation through lockdown restrictions to move into their own homes with additional support to help them maintain their new tenancies and their health and wellbeing.
We’re delighted by the positive impact this service has had on community members who are now housed and are receiving support. With the majority of houses in our allocation already leased, we are enthusiastic about the outlook of the initiative to deliver positive outcomes to assist people in breaking the cycle of homelessness.
Stuart, whose story you can read below, is housed by EACH Housing and supported through EACH. We are pleased to have the privilege to walk alongside him and see the positive effect the program has had in such a short time.
Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Stuart was experiencing housing instability following a marriage breakdown. He has a daughter with whom he wanted to remain connected, and he maintained a positive relationship with his ex-wife.
Following the breakdown of another relationship, Stuart went through a period of staying in temporary accommodation through homelessness support agencies or sleeping in his car. On occasion, he would stay with his ex-wife, although this would only be short term as he felt too much conflict would arise, which would affect their daughter.
When he could afford it, he would stay at motels near his ex-wife’s house so that he could be close to his daughter. Eventually, his daughter came to live with him, and Stuart found shared accommodation in Wesburn. However, being in a new small town, not knowing many people and feeling isolated negatively impacted Stuart’s daughter, affecting her wellbeing.
Stuart prioritised his daughter’s needs, so they moved back to Melbourne, his daughter moved back with her mother, and Stuart returned to staying at nearby motels. Unfortunately, by this time, the COVID-19 pandemic had started, and lockdowns were in place.
While staying at a motel, Stuart was referred to EACH and the From Homelessness to a Home Program. Through the program, he accessed suitable housing for himself and his daughter through a head lease arrangement. There was an immediate positive impact on their life.
His daughter returned to her old school, and she had her own bedroom for the very first time. As a result, her wellbeing and mood improved significantly, and she returned to being active and playing sport.
Stuart feels stability has returned to their lives and that he can now focus on his goals on managing and improving a long-term injury, and to return to seeking employment. Stuart says the From Homelessness to a Home Program has changed his life, and it has given him and his daughter a safe place to call home.