“I would be at a women’s refuge or worse, in the gutter or something terrible if VincentCare hadn’t found me this place”, says Pam.
It’s been an incredibly hard road for Pam, but she’s now in stable accommodation, close to her community and family. It was a very different story a couple of years ago.
Pam had been working all her adult life, had raised a family and was affording the rent on a house with a garden in Melbourne’s North. However, in her late 50’s her position at work became redundant and she found it impossible to find a new job.
“I was still too young to go on the pension, and I couldn’t receive Newstart until I was down to my last $200 or less.”
It took Pam a while to come to terms with the move.
“I had always lived in a big house, and I loved my garden, but after a terrible experience getting someone in to share, I realised I clearly had to get out of there.”
Leisl, Pam’s case worker from VincentCare, took Pam to see an independent living unit in a neighbouring suburb.
“It’s so small” says Pam, “...now I just pretend I’m on a little holiday! But I am very grateful, and I’m close to both my daughters. When I drive out I drive the pretty way, I meander around the lake and I’m thankful to have a home.”
“Last year I had a monumental seizure and again VincentCare assisted me with transport to and from the hospital and Leisl brought me many food packages. Last winter I ate so many baked beans I actually grew to love them” she laughs. “I have even started buying them now!”
“During my entire experience with VincentCare, it’s been great just having their company and I couldn’t have lived without it".
“I have to budget all the time, but I’m so thankful every single day.”
Pam started volunteering at an aged-care facility this year. “I’ve been a volunteer in various fields for much of my adult life and through this I’ve gained much satisfaction and happiness.”