One apartment. Three rooms. Eight women and children. Overcrowded and tight.
These were the living conditions that Talia*, an Aboriginal woman and mum to three kids, found herself in after escaping domestic abuse.
Escaping the abuse had meant moving her three kids to her mum’s already crowded apartment in Sydney. With two children in primary school and one in secondary school, Talia knew that she needed to find a better housing solution, one where her kids could thrive.
Talia came to WAGEC nearly two years ago for support as she searched for a safe space of her own. Her case manager helped her get settled in one of our transitional homes until she found something more long-term.
Soon after moving into this new space, Talia began to look for permanent housing while also working four days a week and raising her three kids.
Then an exciting opportunity came up - Talia learned that she could apply for a home loan through her employer, which would mean that she could finally purchase her own home. She was delighted to be successful in the process of getting a loan.
This was only the start, though.
Now began a search that went on for well over a year. It was a disheartening process. At times Talia became depressed. She nearly gave up hope that she would find a permanent home for her three kids. Talia felt as if she was searching endlessly for an affordable solution. Despite the support from her employer with the home loan, it was close to impossible to find a place she could afford that would meet the basic needs of her family.
Between the lack of affordable homes in Sydney and the discrimination that Aboriginal women and single mums too often face when looking for housing, Talia is only one of many women who we see struggling to get access to an affordable solution.
It took relentless strength and determination to get past each of these barriers, but Talia persisted.
Remarkably, she got past each of them: in August, right when she was about to give up, her application was approved to buy her own three-bedroom home of her own in the Central Coast.
In September, the family moved into their new home. WAGEC supported them with removalist fees as well as some new furniture that we are able to provide through generosity of our donors.
“Talia was always a pleasure to work with. She grew in confidence throughout this entire process,” Talia’s Case Manager said of the time she spent working with her. It was incredibly exciting to support Talia and her kids as she moved from her transitional home to her new one and we are so thrilled for the family as they start this new chapter in their life.