Communities and Justice

Tanya's story transcript

Tanya: I was homeless and I was lounge surfing with my daughters in Sydney.

I didn’t know where I belonged. I was always family orientated so I’d been back and forward to funeral after funeral with relatives. I was never settled in the one spot.

I was so lost and I thought I needed to get my own place and priorities right.

I left Sydney and I came here, back to Nowra. I lived here a long time ago. This is where I really wanted to be.

Kate: Services Our Way is a service that helps build capacity for vulnerable people. We’re all Aboriginal staff. We’ve got a connection to community. There is a level of trust, straight off with clients knowing that they have got someone who they can talk to and relate to.

When I met Tanya, she was homeless and living in a tent. She literally only had a little backpack with some clothes in it, that was it.

Her health was poor, she was very underweight, very frail and she was highly stressed. She really wasn’t looking after herself because it was about survival. I assessed that she needed assistance straight away.

Tanya: I suffered from pleurisy and I was prone to pneumonia so I couldn’t stay in a tent for too long.

I met Kate and it was like I’d met someone who I’d known for a long time. I didn’t need to go any further.

Kate: I’d spoken to Housing NSW who manage the Aboriginal housing properties and within a couple of days they said we’re offering this permanent tenancy to Tanya because she was on a priority housing list.

Tanya: I didn’t know at the time that I was priority and that I needed to be housed because of my health. It was amazing how it all happened, it happened so fast I didn’t know what hit me.

Kate: Since Tanya’s been housed, the improvements are improved health, stability, family are able to come and visit, the grandkids can come stay on the weekends. All those things are important to Tanya.

Tanya: I’m happy and I know that I am safe here. It’s hard to imagine that you’re in a house and it’s actually yours. My daughter visited. She kept saying ‘whose house is this?’ and I had to keep reminding her, ‘Its mine. It’s mine.’. If you stick with your goals and never give up you will get what you really, really want. If it’s in your heart, follow it and it will come.

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Last updated:

02 May 2023