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Home for Christmas – the greatest gift of all

Abigail and her daughter

After escaping an abusive relationship, Abigail found herself stuck on the treadmill of homelessness, sleeping at friends' houses and living in temporary accommodation. Abigail eventually arranged to share a one bedroom flatette with her mother and her youngest daughter while making sure her two elder children could stay with relatives to avoid disrupting their schooling.

To add to her difficulties, Abigail found herself on a Rental Blacklist as her ex-partner had neglected to pay the rent owing on the family home from which she’d escaped.

In February 2015, however, Abigail found her way to the Brisbane Homelessness Service Collaborative, where she completed her application with the Department of Housing and joined the State Government’s home for good initiative.

Home for good partner agency Micah Projects found temporary accommodation for Abigail and her daughter as a matter of urgency, while the Department processed her application for permanent housing.

Abigail and her daughter moved into their new home in April, and Micah Projects helped her to set up the house with furniture, appliances and other necessities. In the early days of her tenancy, a support worker visited Abigail regularly to ensure that she and her daughter were settling in. They arranged for Abigail to visit the Brisbane Dental Hospital for some long-delayed work on her teeth.

Abigail and her children are still working through the emotional issues caused by the trauma of having been homeless. Now that they have a secure, comfortable home to call their own, the elder children are visiting regularly and Abigail is looking forward to a traditional family Christmas with her children around her.

Abigail is immensely grateful to the 500 Lives 500 Homes campaign, and the Queensland Department of Housing for helping her and her family. Now that she has a home, Abigail is keen to re-enter the workforce and enrol for training as a hairdresser.

*Not her real name

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Robert: Robert had slept under a tree in the Dutton Park cemetery for 18 months when he was interviewed in June 2010 during the 50 Lives 50 Homes Campaign Registry Week. By October 2010, he had moved into his new community housing unit.