Case Study: Homeless to Recovery
Updated: Oct 11, 2022
This story was shared with the knowledge and permission of the client.
This is a little bit of my story over the last 2 years.
I lost my community housing rental due to not maintaining the rent and poor standards - most of my DSP benefit was going on my addiction to meth. I also became involved in some offending behaviour.
I estimate that I had used drugs on and off for about 30 years, dope mainly but progressed into amphetamines and then meth. To be honest, I really didn't think that I had a problem...
After losing my rental, I shared houses with other addicts, couch surfed and at times slept on park benches. My daughter, who has some intellectual challenges, was with me.
It was through the police that CPFS became involved.
This was a wakeup call. My daughter was taken into care of the department and went to residing in a group home. I have been my daughter's sole carer since she was 2.
I was devastated, and I missed her terribly. This was a turning point for me.
In order for my girl to be returned, I was willing to do the work. I accepted referrals and suggestions of how to get my life back on track.
I stopped using meth or any other drugs, and I have not used since. I moved away from my known area and no contact with my former friends and associates. I attended drug counselling, courses on parenting assistance.
I attended to my own other health issues - this is ongoing I have been on DSP for over 20 years. My main priority was getting housing and getting my daughter back into my care.
My elderly mum helped with housing me during this time... even though it could have caused issues with her own accommodation. I was a recovering addict dedicated to making the necessary changes as advised by CPFS and other agencies. I applied for housing both short and long term so that the reunification plan could continue. There wasn't much available.
My daughter stayed in the group home.
By this point, I had sorted myself out. All that was really needed was accommodation. I was accepted into a transitional housing program. The next day, my daughter was returned to me. The agencies had worked together on that.
During this time, I also arranged my daughters NDIS plan, arranged her activities and support network. She is doing very well at school. She is 15 now.
After 6 months in my transitional rental having jumped through all the hoops, CPFS told me that they were recommending to the court guardianship of my daughter returned to me - I am very proud of this.
We have kept moving forward.
We have been residing in the transitional rental for over 9 months now - my housing support worker and property manager have told me that I am an excellent tenant.
My daughter is a leader in her class and has won awards. She is doing very well. I am still arranging her activities and all that.
Yes, I am still paying off court fines but my budget is looking a lot better. We eat well, my bills are paid, we have nice things.
My health has improved, I look different now. Most of my old associates do not recognize me... But I recognize them. I look at them often and think that used to be me. I am very much looking forward to this.
The last part of my journey into secure accommodation is yet to be completed. I am awaiting allocation into a public housing rental, our forever home we hope and I am very much looking forward to this.
Since then, the client and his daughter have acquired Department of Housing and settled in very well. He continues to maintain his rent and tenancy with no issues.