When I first met Jenny and her 5 children, they were on the brink of homelessness. Eviction loomed and they had nowhere to go. A single mum and 5 kids, looking for a place in today’s housing crisis? Definitely not the easiest. So they came to Bonnie’s.
We were able to help them move into a transitional property, this is a property allocated to the family for about 12 months as a stepping stone into finding more permanent, stable housing. They lived there for about 9 months before they had to return to their home state of Queensland because of a family member’s death. During this time, I was advocating hard with public housing to ensure there was a home for them to move into when they returned to Sydney. And luckily got a property secured. But it was very difficult to contact Jenny because of the poor reception in her rural Queensland town.
I fought hard to keep the house, but no one could get onto Jenny. Not even me. I couldn’t help but worry and think: Would they be homeless again? Where would they stay? Would I ever hear from Jenny again?
Months turned into years, and I never found out what happened to the family. From our last conversation I assumed they were in Queensland with their family.
Until something amazing happened. It was Naidoc Week 2022 and Bonnie’s had a booth. I hosted the stall with my co-workers. As I was preparing the table, I saw a woman waving and smiling at me…peering through the crowd I could make out that this person looked very familiar, and then her 5 kids came running toward me! It was Jenny. The 7 of us embraced in a big hug and we spent the whole afternoon talking about her new life in Sydney.
She told me she had decided to stay in Queensland but still struggled to find a stable house to call home, and she had herself again in a bit of a rut. So once she got the call that a house had opened up in Sydney it was a no-brainer. She packed her bags, and all her kids into the car and came back down. Finally, a place of their own. Everyone is happy! The children looked so well and healthy, and they had grown so much. I felt genuine happiness and for the rest of the day, I was smiling ear to ear, my cheeks hurt.
It’s not often you run into an old client, once they leave Bonnie’s. And if things aren’t left the best, it’s impossible to not keep thinking about how they are or where they could be. So to see this family flourishing, with permanent and stable housing, thriving – I was finally at peace. The final piece of the puzzle, for Jenny and for me.
Blog by Sophie