Today I’m moving into my Office of Housing flat! It’s like I’ve won the lotto, I can’t believe what’s happened. Today I’m no longer homeless. It’s got no furnishings but I don’t mind.
I’d been through several agencies but with a dog I was just referred to transitional housing or a rooming house and I didn’t want to get rid of the dog so I chose to stay in my car.
Eventually I talked with a case worker and we worked through my situation; she was so good and understanding. I had been getting so frustrated for 6 months, but this totally changed my life.
When my relationship turned sour I just got in my car and left. I left all my possessions there; it was just me and my dog Pirate in the Ford Fiesta. I found an unused carpark with a roller door, it was secure and I could be in the car and let the dog out. It was near the Lost Dogs home so if he barked no one noticed. I didn’t mind camping until about March and the novelty wore off. It got cold.
I had a part time job recently for four weeks at Flemington Race Course. I’m hoping to start a new job at Caulfield, less travel time. It should work out. I know my horse skills, I do track work, I’m a strapper. I have an affinity with animals, I know they never let you down, they don’t lie. I’m wary of some people these days.
I can’t tell you how many plans I have for my life, but they’ve all revolved around getting somewhere to live. When you’re homeless you can’t think about plans. It’s a challenge just to fill your day, not spending any money. Having the dog occupies you. We’ve walked lots, at least 10 kilometres a day; you should see the dogs muscles. I’ve lost lots of weight.
I don’t know how to express how difficult it is to be without somewhere to live. It’s frustrating, but you have to be patient and persistent. On the footpath near Ozanam House someone has written in wet concrete, “everything will be alright’. I’d walk by it most days with my head down, but I’d see it and it was like a mantra.
If someone is homeless, for anyone out there, it just takes time, but it will be alright.