Elsa & Jacinto's "Home at Last"

8 May 2019

At the end of 2017 Elsa and Jacinto experienced for first time the anxiety and desperation of not finding a place to live after receiving a 60 days notice to vacate. All their efforts to find a private rental property during that time were unsuccessful. They believe that their age (60+), low income, and having an incurable cancer were the reasons to not be considered as potential tenants in the private market. At that time they did not consider social housing as an option as they thought that they had to wait for more than 10 years until a public housing property could become available for them.

The loss of their tenancy forced them into temporary accommodation and unfortunately their physical and mental health started to deteriorate rapidly. Although they were very thankful with the support and short-term accommodation provided by family and friends, they were also negatively impacted by the housing circumstances. Jacinto started receiving palliative care during the time he was couch surfing. He was also feeling depressed and hopeless due to experiencing homelessness and even though Elsa had always a positive approach towards their housing circumstances she was very uncomfortable and worried she might be bothering other people with their stay.

In January 2018, they contacted the Home at Last service to seek options for secure and affordable housing for them. Information was provided to them by the intake team and an outreach worker was allocated to assist them with the whole process to get access into social housing. A Priority Access application under the category of Homeless with support was completed and the outreach worker followed the process to ensure they were housed in a property according to their medical needs. According to Elsa they felt very lucky when they were assisted and explained by the Home at Last team that they were eligible to apply for priority housing.

Elsa and Jacinto were housed on the 13th of December 2018 and since then their quality of life has positively changed and their mental health has clearly improved.

They were really thankful for the Home at Last teams help with being housed, for all the support provided during the times of difficulty and also for the support provided by the removalists when moving in to their new property