Stories

Jessie’s Story

Jessie was referred to our Street to Home service by another specialist homelessness organization.  At the time of referral, she was living in her car which she parked on her brother’s property and paid him a weekly “rent” to use the bathroom, kitchen and other facilities inside the house.  She suffered from severe back pain from a workplace accident, depression and anxiety.  Due to her living conditions and sleeping upright in her car, she was at great risk of aggravating her deep vein thrombosis.  Although she was offered alternate accommodation options numerous times, she decided to stay as she had very bad experiences in other types of accommodation and did not want to move unless it was into a secure house.  At the time of referral, Jessie felt completely isolated with a lack of support from her family as she was estranged from her children.  Her brother treated her more like a problem rather than a family member.

Over the first few contacts with the service, Jessie was very withdrawn and felt as though we could not offer her the help she needed.  She was convinced that no one else could understand her situation and that she could never again have a house to sleep in and would remain isolated for the rest of her life due to her circumstances.  The issues that she was facing as a middle-aged woman with no family support and who had lost everything she spent her whole life building up due to a number of unfortunate events which all occurred around the same time caused complete devastation for her.

Shortly after, Jessie received a notice from the Department of Transport that her car registration was due.  This was another blow to Jessie as the car was her only accommodation option she felt secure in and it was the only way she could move around and get things done due to her back injuries.  55 Central Inc. used some brokerage to pay for a 6 month car registration which she appreciated immensely and made a huge difference in her capacity to engage more effectively.

Jessie was eventually offered a house from the Housing Authority and she gladly accepted it even though she still felt the anxiety.  Some brokerage was used to help her with the furniture removal from her brother’s place and purchasing of basic household items.

The first few weeks in her residence were hard for Jessie.  She had to get one of her female friends to stay with her for a few nights to help her settle in and get some rest.  Jessie has been living in the house for about 5 months now.  She is now comfortable in her new environment, met some neighbours and made new friends.  Her granddaughter has visited her a few times for sleepovers.