“The service helped me deal with some of the issues I was going through in my life.”
deals with tenants with multiple needs (and a lot of those are my neighbours), safety is still a valid point, regardless of us having our individual issues.” De says her housing officer, Lisa, and the team at Housing Choices are “onto it” when issues do arise. “There has to be a harmony here, with the people living here in such a confined community; it has to work.” De finds special peace and solace in the community garden at Queens Walk where she is very active as a volunteer, helping ensure it is meticulously maintained. “Housing Choices provides everything we need… and the official gardener provides free woodchips in return for the help we provide him.”
“They’re trying to make Australia home. It’s so hard for them and they’re such nice people. It’s just my way of pitching in and helping out”. These days De finds herself in a very different place from her old life in Melbourne; a life that was dominated by health issues, loneliness and concern for her safety. What she has found at Housing Choices’ Queens Walk is calm, stability and security. “I look forward to going home now. I really feel at home. Safe and quiet. I’m happy and plan to keep it that way.” De.
The acknowledgement of the surrounding neighbours fuels her
passion for gardening even more. “Even people in the neighbourhood comment on how nice it looks; that it’s not how it used to be”. De’s strong desire to help others has flourished in her new home. She participates in several community groups, helping newly-arrived migrant mothers and children develop the skills they need to settle into life in Australia - whether it be taking them on a bus trip to the town centre, changing light bulbs, or teaching the young ones how to ride a bike - even finding and restoring an old bike for one child before teaching them how to ride. Several of the mothers De has worked closely with have experienced family violence and abuse in their countries of origin.
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