Up until recently, the prospect of living on the streets was very real for Mr Townley, but thanks to the support of Care Options’ Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged, he won’t be worrying whether he’ll have a warm place to call home this winter.
Mr Townley was on the verge of homelessness about 10 months ago when ACHA Co-ordinator Tracey French met him at a soup kitchen and stepped in to help after learning of his plight.
Ms French said Mr Townley’s story was just one example of how close many people can come to homelessness ” Mr Townley had been renting a unit in Mandurah for more than 10 years when he suffered a back injury which left him unable to work or ble to afford his rent.
After falling into financial distress, he had no choice but to leave the property after accumulating a debt and a cleaning bill.
During this time Mr Townley was also diagnosed with depression, for which he sought treatment, and was transitioned to a disability support pension which allowed him to clear his debts while staying in the garage of a house for a small contribution.
‘Geoff had been on the Department of Housing wait list for a few months and looking for private rentals in the meantime when I first met him at the soup kitchen,’ Ms French said.
‘My priority was to move Geoff away from the risk of homelessness, so I helped him move on to the priority wait list and within a short time he was offered a one bedroom unit in Mandurah, which was a fantastic outcome for him.’
The ACHA program helped Mr Townley with the cost of moving and to buy a fridge and washing machine, and he’s now back on his feet living independently in his own unit.
‘ACHA isn’t a ‘dump and run’ program, we have support systems in place to make sure the transition into housing is a success,’ Ms French said.
‘My message for other people out there who might suddenly find themselves in a similar situation to Geoff is that there are people and programs like ACHA here to help.’
Mr Townley said he was enormously grateful to Tracey, Care Options and the ACHA program, which he directly credits with saving him from the very real prospect of living on the streets.
‘There’s no doubt in my mind I would have ended up living on the streets without Tracey and Care Options help, ” he said.