Homeless get second chance

Deirdre Queden-Jones and support worker Sandeep Ghuman. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d405430
Deirdre Queden-Jones and support worker Sandeep Ghuman. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d405430

More than 20 people living in the region with a mental illness were forced on to waiting lists for short-term accommodation in the 2012-13 financial year, according to St Bartholomew’s House Medina mental health support services manager Linda Borrison.

Ms Borrison said people seeking accommodation at St Bartho-lomew’s House, could expect a wait of up to 12 months.

The organisation has used National Homeless Person’s Week (August 5-11) to call for support from the local community to help minimise the number of women and young children who are homeless.

St Bartholomew’s provides two short-term duplexes in Medina for adults aged over 18, living with mental illness and experiencing a social crisis, requiring respite or who are at the risk of homelessness.

Deirdre Queden-Jones (65), who has been living in Medina’s short-term accommodation for three months, said the service gave her a second chance at life.

Ms Queden-Jones was diagnosed with personality disorder last year and told the Courier she had become separated from her three daughters in recent months.

‘I have made some bad decisions in my life and I have taken a pretty big fall, but I feel so lucky to have this house available to me and I wish everyone was as fortunate,’ she said.

‘I receive $500 a fortnight for sickness benefit and I am doing the best I can; I always try to help others where I can.

‘This house has changed my life and I wake up every morning and feel very grateful for having a roof over my head.

‘I will be launched again into the world. My dream is to have my own home with two little dogs.’

Case manager Sandeep Ghuman said everyone living in the duplexes provided care and support for one another.

‘The Government needs to provide more homes like this one because no one deserves to be homeless and the hardest thing is having to tell someone that there is no room,’ she said.

St Bartholomew’s has housed more than 800 people in Medina since opening in 1999.

Details
All potential residents must:
– Be referred by a recognised
health service.
– Have a referral form completed
by the referring agency.
– Have a nominated case manager
who will provide clinical supervision
and support.
For more information or to donate
vivit www.stbarts.org.au/