Lee, 53, accompanied by her 8-year-old son, was referred to Juno in May this year. They moved to Melbourne to escape family violence and to be closer to Lee’s oldest child. Lee was forced to leave her previous rental because it was an unsafe environment for her and her child due to the risk of violence. Prior to renting, Lee owned her home but had to sell her house to pay the costs associated with a family court matter involving the perpetrator.
As a sole parent with one income, soaring rental prices and low rental availability meant Lee could not find an affordable property and was pushed into homelessness. She spent some time couch surfing with family before making the move to Melbourne. At the time of referral to Juno, Lee and her son were moving into emergency accommodation after the property where they had been couch surfing became too crowded.
Lee’s Juno Case Manager supported her in getting an extension on her emergency accommodation to relieve pressure while exploring longer-term housing options. This included private rental coaching and liaising with real estate agents, completing a public housing application, and successfully putting forward a community housing nomination. We were also able to support Lee with access to rent in advance funding so she wouldn’t be under additional financial stress.
Lee’s Case Manager also supported her to access material aid and food relief programs so that she and her child had access to basic needs while working on long-term goals. They also provided Lee with a Safe Connections phone through Women’s Services Network (WESNET) as part of family violence safety planning.
Lee regularly mentioned several support needs that she was not currently in a space to work on, including accessing a GP for a health check and mental health care plan, counselling support, and support for her child’s mental health and wellbeing. Before the support period concluded, Lee’s Case Manager provided her with a comprehensive list of resources and available supports for her to refer to when she has the capacity.
“Juno has been amazing, especially my case worker. They have been emotionally supportive and have been able to find me a home. I feel so grateful. I was unable to find a secure home for myself and my now 8-year-old son for the last three and half years. Due to domestic violence, I had to leave where I was living and was able to stay at friends’ and family’s places over the past few years. This was okay at first, but after a while, I just felt so exhausted.
I moved to Melbourne at the end of last year to be closer to my adult children. I thought it would be easier to find a place in Melbourne, but it was just the same: high rents and a housing crisis. I was referred to a homelessness support service as I became homeless, and they set me up with emergency accommodation. I was then referred to Juno. After many weeks of continuous housing applications and advocacy from Juno, I finally got an interview with the Women’s Property Initiative. I am now in secure, affordable long-term housing. It is wonderful, and again, I am so grateful to my case worker and Juno for getting me the interview.