“I have been homeless since I ran away from home at the age of seven. I have lived on the streets ever since. I felt safer living in the scrub.”
Meet Michael, our courageous client from our Aboriginal Homelessness Prevention Service.
Since Michael started his journey with Momentum collective, he has come an extraordinarily long way from being homeless for 43 years to recently securing his first home in the Northern Rivers region.
Supported by his Case Worker, Michael was on a pathway out of homelessness through personalised cultural appropriate and safe services.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 1,494 people were homeless in the Northern Rivers on Census night in 2016. The highest numbers were counted in Tweed (444), Byron (327), Lismore (390) and Clarence Valley (320).
The physiological support offered to Michael was paramount to encourage him to take proactive steps towards securing his permanent accommodation.
“One time, it was pouring rain, a big storm hit. Within an hour of speaking on the phone to me, two Momentum Collective workers arrived with a tent and a sleeping bag to keep me warm. They gave me things that meant a lot to me, like a pillow and a mattress. Mate… I have a home now”, Michael says.
When asked about what advice he would give to others that are in the exactly same position as he was in recently, Michael didn’t hesitate to emphasise the importance of seeking support when needed.
“It is life-changing! You really have no idea how much my life has changed. If I could suggest to anyone who is in the same position as me, I would say stick it out. Make a plan, and follow it through. Don’t take on too much at once, and definitely link up with Momentum Collective. They have honestly helped me in so many ways!”
Michael now enjoys sitting on his veranda surrounded by the local birds and the beautiful nature in his new backyard.
“It is still sinking in. It is like a fantasy. I cry, I cry. I am not scared of anything – but living on the streets, in the bush, I would wake up getting kicked, beaten up, robbed.. but not here. I am safe. Here, I don’t have to worry.”
For us, at Momentum Collective, it is our mission to eliminate the homelessness issue and respond rapidly, so people who are in an unfortunate position can have the support required to ensure a safe and stable home environment.
If your tenancy is at risk, or you are currently sleeping rough or in your car, staying with friends, or living in overcrowded or unsafe homes, contact us for help on 1300 355 305 or visit the Specialist Homelessness Service.