Spring Appeal 2023
The impact of the housing crisis and soaring cost of living is the focus of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW’s Spring Appeal. Read Emma’s story, one of the many people we have been able to support during this period of hardship.
A bathtub, an oven and a backyard may seem unremarkable.
For Emma, the sight of these seemingly ordinary things brought her to tears when she finally received a home after years of struggle and homelessness.
“The housing that we’ve been given, I couldn’t ask for anything more… all those little things, and now stability – my son has just come so far.”
Going from secure housing to experiencing homelessness four times in the past three years due to the housing crisis that erupted across Australia, the two-bedroom townhouse she shares with her young son, Jacob, has come at the end of a difficult road.
Losing her home and subsequently shifting into the increasingly volatile rental market, the struggle to keep her head above water while balancing rent, utilities, declining health and raising Jacob led to a sense of helplessness.
The support Emma needed in her time of crisis came in the form of a drop-in service operated by the St Vincent de Paul Society in regional NSW, where she was left with a profound impact from her very first interaction.
“I think I was directed to the showers first and then to eat… words can’t describe the care that’s given here compared to other services. Everybody treats you the same way. The staff here are amazing – absolutely amazing.”
Gaining a much-needed support system that helped Emma access vital medication through the disability support pension, the service staff most significantly advocated on her behalf to secure housing.
Two months on, the transformation for Emma has been life altering.
She is currently volunteering in the community and studying, while the newfound routine, structure and stability has Jacob on track to succeed when he begins school next year.
“It sounds so obvious, but with housing, everything comes together.”
Having had to share a room with Jacob during their shared periods of homelessness, Emma vividly recalls the glow of Jacob’s face on the day they moved into their new home.
“I said, ‘You’ve got your own room and we’ve even got a backyard.” He goes, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me, mum?!’”
“‘I’m not kidding you, and it’s all yours.’”
Learn more about the Vinnies Spring Appeal at: https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw