How often do we all say this to ourselves about various things? In this particular instance I'm speaking of homelessness. I remember reading once that most of us are only a week's wage away from being homeless. ONE week! Scary isn't it?
The reality of how easily one can become homeless has struck a chord with me in recent weeks. I have a very good friend who faces that very real possibility in the next few weeks. My friend has been a sole parent for some time. She has three children at home, a 16 year old daughter and twins, a boy and a girl aged 14. Her youngest daughter has a severe disability. The elder kids attend the local High School and the younger daughter attends special school. My friend has worked casual jobs from time to time but has found regular employment evasive as she is only available between school hours and if any of the kids are sick has to take time off to care for them. (I'm sure many working parents can relate)
Unfortunately my friend does not have family support available nearby. She has been a good tenant, renting her current home for the last 9 years. Out of the blue 6 weeks ago she received a notice to vacate the premises. She had 30 days to find somewhere else to live.(her landlord wants to do extensive renovations) Rental properties are in short supply in our local area and her limited income means many places are out of her price range. On applying my friend received a 2 week extension to the time she had to find a new place. So far she has applied for several properties but been knocked back each time. It is very frustrating for her. She is FAST running out of time.(We believe she may be being discriminated against because she is a welfare recipient )
On inquiring at many local agencies about assistance she was told until she IS homeless they cannot help her. (even then there are waiting times/queues for assistance) She has applied for ministry housing but was told there is at least a three year wait. This week she received a notice to say she is expected to be out by next week. There is a hearing before a tribunal next week and IF she is lucky she may get a little extra time. If not....she and her children will be homeless!
In the meantime she is running around doing all the regular mum stuff, caring for her kids, taking the kids to their after school and weekend activities etc as well as trying to find a new home.(she has even looked at suburbs further away from her current home and the children's school etc) I am stressed for her, I can't imagine how she must be feeling! On asking at one agency what she is supposed to do if she can't find anywhere they told her she would have to find a caravan park, stay in a hotel or live in her car!!!! Can you believe that? I know that some people do (even temporarily) but what the heck is she supposed to do with all their furniture and belongings? Who really wants to live in any of those places with 3 teenage kids?The mind really does boggle.
I am praying my girlfriend finds a new place for her and her children. It really makes you think twice about that assumption ....It couldn't happen to me!
wishing you sunshine in your shadows
Sunshine in my shadows
Welcome to sunshine in my shadows. This blog is my space to share all the stuff that makes up my every day life. Family, friends, crafts, recipes, books and all the little things that add 'sunshine to my shadows'. We all have a sprinkling of sunshine and an equal sprinkling of shadows in our lives. Hopefully you will find more sunshine than shadows to read about here and on the days when shadows fall, know that the sunshine is peeking just around the corner!