December 22, 2016
Having your family over for Christmas lunch might seem like an ordinary enough wish, but for Delores, being in a position to cook for her grandkids in her own kitchen this Christmas day is a proud achievement.
Delores is a Noongar woman with a large family who clearly love and need her. Delores’ own mother was a stolen generation child and Delores had faced many difficult challenges in her own life, including periods spent sleeping rough, before she came to live at a Foundation Housing lodging house. Even though when she was at the lodging house Delores had ‘a roof over her head’, she still struggled to manage her residency and was at risk of eviction. It was at this point Delores told us she thought she would probably die on the street.
Fortunately there was more we could offer. Delores was invited to take part in the Street to Home program which is designed to help people who are either homeless or at risk of returning to homelessness, stay on track and maintain their home.
Foundation Housing tenant support worker, Sue, started working with Delores a year ago and connected her to additional services that would help her better manage some of the issues that were impacting negatively on her life. These included the Woman’s Health and Family Services and also Kambarang Place, an Aboriginal womens’ refuge run by
Ruah. At Kambarang Place, Delores developed strong friendships and they assisted her to start a journey to discover more about the past of her ancestors and now she has become an avid storyteller of her family’s past.
Sue also recognised that because Delores was so important to her family, she needed a space where they could come and spend time with her, which was difficult to do in the lodging house. Working with Foundation Housing’s Allocations and Housing teams, Sue was able to get Delores back on the Housing Authority Joint Waitlist so that Foundation Housing could offer her a home. She is now in her own place and is very proud that her family will be coming for Christmas lunch. As part of the support Sue provided in the move, they found a $15 dining table that was nice and sturdy and would fit the whole family.
Delores is becoming a respected member of her community and has been making visits back to country. She wants her story told and was very proud to be photographed with Sue and her new puppy, Yorga.