Meet Jack*, a 37-year-old who spent his entire life in the coastal town of Tweed Heads. Seeking new opportunities, he relocated to Sydney a few years ago and secured a job in construction. However, life took an unexpected turn as Jack struggled with a drug addiction that seemed to affect his life.
Suddenly, Jack’s world changed with one phone call. His 13-year-old son, Thomas*, wanted him to come home. His ex-partner was facing her addiction battles, leaving the children vulnerable. Jack said farewell to Sydney without hesitation and rushed to his son’s side in Brisbane, putting their well being above everything else.
As a single parent, he faced an uphill battle in his search for support and suitable home. Jack eventually returned to his hometown with limited options, where his retired parents travelled around in a tiny caravan. When his parents learnt about their son and grandchildren’s situation, they offered the caravan as a temporary sanctuary until they found a safe and suitable place to live.
Jack and his sons called the tiny caravan parked by the Tweed Heads River their home for six months. He decided to live by the river so his eldest son could conveniently attend the local school. However, living in such a confined space presented challenges.
“Some nights, I could hear unsettling noises outside. I had to put my boys in nappies because I couldn’t risk letting them go outside alone in the middle of the night to use the public toilets.”
In the face of hardships, a glimmer of hope emerged as Momentum Collective’s Case Managers, Alan and Rameesh, learned of the family’s urgent living situation. In July this year, they visited the family. Alan became their assigned case worker.
“I have been having frequent appointments with Jack, and although he has always had a positive outlook and remained strong for his sons, the moment he moved into a temporary accommodation, I noticed the improvement of well being, health and confidence in Jack and his two children and” says Alan.
“One of the first things we did was take Jack and his 4-year-old son Jeremy* shopping to buy essential clothing and house items. Jack picked up a slow cooker to start cooking his son’s nourishing meals, and his son got to pick out his toy.”
With Alan’s guidance, Jack and his children moved into a temporary home within a few weeks. Jack now feels safe and at peace, knowing that his boys can sleep without fear and have access to the essentials. One of Jack’s top goals while working with Alan has been to prepare Jeremy for preschool, and we are happy to share that his little one is soon to embark on this new adventure.
Additionally, securing proper dental care for his children and finding sustainable accommodation have been crucial goals on the father’s list. The application for assisted housing is well underway, and Alan is providing unwavering support in the search for a three-bedroom house for this beautiful family to call home.
Jack’s story is a testament to the strength of a father’s love and the power of compassionate and non-judgmental support. It reminds us that even in the face of hardship, one can reimagine the life they truly deserve with the right support.
Please note Jack, Thomas, and Jeremy’s* names are changed to protect their identity.