Brand new start for mum and kids

9 October 2023 1:54PM

Single mum Erin* has a long-term place to call home after years of unstable housing.

The mum-of-three became homeless in January and was couch surfing with her children aged between one and four.

She was forced to leave her home in Gladstone after experiencing domestic violence from a former partner.

Life changed for Erin in May when she moved into a three-bedroom social housing duplex with support from Moreton Bay Housing Service Centre.

“It is such a relief to finally have a house. We were jumping from lease to lease and never had a proper place,” Erin says.

“It is great to finally have somewhere to call home.”

Tina Kilgower, Moreton Bay Housing Service Centre Customer Service Manager, said they were able to provide temporary accommodation for Erin after she contacted the Housing Service Centre, funded through the Immediate Housing Response for Families.

“She was over the moon when we called her to say we able to provide her and the kids with a long-term tenancy,” Tina says.

“I feel humbled being able to hand over keys and witness families move into their new homes.

“I am filled with hope that this pivotal moment marks the start of their new chapter, a foundation which they can build their own happily ever after.

“It reaffirms the importance of the work we do and the contribution the department makes.”

Erin is getting to know her new neighbours and community.

“We really like the area. My four-year-old is playing with the kids in our street,” Erin added.

“Every few days we go to the park and the shops. I’m slowly making friends with other mums in the area.”

Erin aspires to start a career in aged care and is planning to start studying. For the moment, she is enjoying her time bringing up her children in their new home.

“I like baking with the kids – we make cupcakes and cookies,” Erin says.

“I am making the house a home. It is a slow process but we’re getting there.”

In the last financial year (2022-2023), more than 1,330 new households provided with social housing identified as experiencing domestic and family violence.

The Queensland Government provided more than 900 Flexible Assistance Packages, in the last financial year, to people experiencing domestic and family violence. The packages help with costs of essential goods and services needed to access safe housing, such as paying for removalists, furniture or white goods.

*Name changed to protect identity.

If you need housing help, contact your local Housing Service Centre or call the 24/7 Homeless Hotline on 1800 474 753. Find out more about available housing products, services and support.