It is difficult to break the cycle of homelessness without the stability and security of a home. Stability and security are key factors which enable people to address the barriers holding them back from accessing long-term accommodation.
Peplow House in Ballarat provides short-term crisis accommodation to men over the age of 18 experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and offers a safe, secure environment to support men to get back on their feet.
Having somewhere stable to stay allows these men with the opportunity to look for employment, seek medical assistance or link into appropriate support services, and work towards personal goals that are holding them back from accessing long-term accommodation.
For Peplow House resident Lewis*, having stable accommodation has helped him to work towards his goals and access the services he needs:
“I have been homeless for more than ten years moving around Australia. I can now relax and I have stability, it was a relief to have a roof over my head and to be able to have a shower. I have now seen a GP for a checkup and have been linked into a Drug and Alcohol worker. I have started gym to get fit and lose weight, it helps how I feel,” says Lewis.
Sadly, many people face homelessness in Victoria, and it affects so many different types of people including single adults, families with children, young people and seniors.
On the night of the 2016 Census, 116,427 Australians were recorded homeless with over 24,000 recorded in Victoria¹.
There are a number of reasons that can contribute to homelessness, including (escaping) family violence, financial difficulties, relationship or family breakdown, mental health issues, physical illness, addiction or lack of affordable housing. In many cases, people often face a combination of these challenging circumstances making it even more difficult to break the cycle of homelessness.
“I had alcohol abuse, severe anxiety and depression, grief and long-term trauma. I ran away from home at eleven, my dad was an alcoholic and violent and I was put in an orphanage. I was left on my own when I turned 18 with no family and no support,” shared Lewis.
Whilst staying at Peplow House, Lewis was able to focus on finding employment opportunities. He secured a job trial, which lead to securing an ongoing full-time position. With the security of employment, Lewis is now able to focus on future prospects and to look for a house.
“With a job, I can rent my own place. I am now looking to rent a house,” said Lewis.
After experiencing homelessness for more than ten years, the stability and support provided by Peplow House has enabled Lewis to focus on his health and wellbeing and secure ongoing employment.
Now with the opportunity to look for somewhere permanent to call home, the future is looking bright for Lewis, and he has a chance to end his cycle of homelessness.
To learn more about CatholicCare’s homelessness support services please contact (03) 5337 8999.
*At CatholicCare Victoria, we respect everyone who comes to us for help and many are working towards a fresh start in life. While the stories and quotes are true, client names and images have been changed to protect their privacy.
¹Council to homeless persons