• I am over 50
  • I am struggling to make ends meet
  • I want a quality affordable home
  • I want help when I need it
  • I Want A Good Life

Humans of Wintringham: Introducing Martin

HOW - Martin
by Comms Team

In 2017 I was putting a sock on my foot and I thought something wasn’t right, a couple of weeks later the pain started so I went to a doctor who said he didn’t like what he was seeing and he sent me off to do x-rays and MRIs and all of that. Well it came back that my hip was hanging by a thread – and it’s been that way since. Then, because I’ve been putting all my weight on my other leg, it’s injured by knee – but that’s not bothering me as much at the moment.

In 2018 I was living in a nice caravan park in Wangaratta when all residents received a letter saying there would be a redevelopment – and we were all welcome to stay but rent would be going up from $240/week to $480/week – and being on New Start, I couldn’t afford that so I started putting my feelers out.

I moved back to Melbourne and stayed in a hotel for a few weeks, but money was quickly running out so I called Launch Housing who were just around the corner. They offered me emergency accommodation in St Kilda for five nights; and while I was there he called a friend at Open Door who said they had a handicap room available. I had to go down and get a Covid test from St Vincents. I took the tram, which wasn’t easy with a walking frame, but I did it. And I went back to Launch Housing who said I had a win and I got the place at Open Door.

Maddie engaged with me twice a week regarding my health and helped me to start looking for permanent accommodation. It was there that Wintringham sent a worker, they were going to pick me up through the H2H program. We had a meeting at the Broadmeadows office, and then I got a lease over at Preston – and that was for the maximum of 18 months.

Seven months in, things were going well and that’s when I met Glenda. Glenda is very strong and very determined to achieve a great outcome for her clients. She’s also not afraid to ask the hard questions. She said “We can do this, we can do this!” She asked where I wanted to be and what I wanted – if I wanted community housing; and I told her the housing at Wintringham was meant to be pretty good. So she started the ball rolling, putting in applications with everyone.

During this time, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and started treatment twice a week. On top of everything else. I’m happy to say that I’m now in remission for this.

Once she received Glenda’s application on my behalf, Heather, the Site Manager at Delahey, called Glenda and offered us a look at a room. It needed some maintenance work but we went ahead with the inspection. At the end, she asked me if I would like time to think about it and I said “Yeah, about a minute!” I took it straight away – it’s perfect. Where I was in Preston had no front or backyard; my front door opened onto the main street. Whereas, at Delahey I have my own little yard out the back. I was grateful to have a roof over my head, but when I say this place at Delahey – talk about hitting the jackpot!

Heather – amazing – she gives the tough love, but if you need something – like really need something, she will fight tooth and nail for you. My first impression of Heather was that she was very accommodating. And so I moved to Delahey last October – it’s a really vibrant little community; and that’s where I met Nicole, our recreation officer – she’s an energy bunny! Nicole is fantastic – she wants to involve everyone. She got me involved with the barbeques here – I get enjoyment out of cooking for everyone. It’s a really good environment. And the best part about it is that no one sugar coats anything, everyone is just straight up.

I have excellent neighbours here – my closest neighbours are Martin and Alan. We have happy hour once a week out on the balcony and we just have fun. Just have a laugh and relax. Which I haven’t had for a long time because of all the stresses and so on. Martin and Alan really encouraged me to just keep plugging away.

I don’t go out in the bus (on recreation outings) because it’s too hard with my walking frame; but I spend time in the community room, talking to all the residents. And I have helped people who aren’t as fortunate with literacy as I am – with things like letters and that kind of thing – and it’s great that I can give back a little bit.

My friends from the Royal Australian Navy and commander have been very supportive over the years; and it was my commander who called around about my hip and helped me get in for surgery; I have hip surgery scheduled for a couple of month’s time and then nine months after that they said they’d look at operating on my knee. Without my commander’s help with this, I could have been waiting another year or two.

Working in the Royal Australian Navy, I have been through a lot, and seen a lot in my time. I’ve seen bombs, explosions, conflicts and you name it – but the stress of being homeless was worse. Since coming to Wintringham, the stability it has offered me – my stress levels have dropped so much!


Humans in the Media: Anzac Day 2023

To remember and commemorate the people who have served in any war and conflict, our Delahey resident Marty, shared his experiences during his time in the Navy and what Anzac Day means to him.

“I joined [the Navy] when I was about 31 and I did my electrical apprenticeship which wasn’t going anywhere, and I just really wanted something different. So I went in as a radar technician using my skills, and after six months my Commander said he wanted to train me up to be a salt boarding party team leader going ship to shore, extraction of hostages – and peacekeeping in a sense. I did 128 missions – which doesn’t sound much but it’s a lot! And you’re always on edge, even when you’re on shore leave. I’ve been out for eight years, I’m 55 now,” says Marty.

When Marty talks about Anzac Day, he remembers his dad. “Anzac Day means a lot to me because my father served in World War II in the Royal Australian Navy, and I was brought up to respect the day, and I went along to functions with him. Dad didn’t ever speak much about his time in the Navy, and that is very characteristic of the Diggers of that time.”

“Anzac Day means a lot to my friends who serve as well. It’s the one day of the year that’s celebrating, but it’s also about reflecting as well. We lost two blokes on missions, and I had to come back to Australia for one of them and give his dog tags and personal affects to his wife – she was 22 years old with a baby, and it was very hard. That’s one of the hardest things I’ve done. She still calls me to this day.”

Anzac Day is a really good day, and it should never be forgotten. It’s great to see it being passed down to future generations. I like seeing the school children going to the ceremonies and visiting the shrine of remembrance – it really means a lot.”

Thank you, Marty and all of the Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations for your service!


About Humans of Wintringham

Humans of Wintringham enables our clients, staff and volunteers to share their stories, in their words. Many of these stories describe the hard realities of homelessness, while others touch on factors that contribute to these circumstances, such as domestic violence, poor health, drug and alcohol abuse, intergenerational poverty, sexual abuse, incarceration etc. Each story is unique, and powerful. We're very grateful to our inspiring and wonderful Humans of Wintringham, for entrusting us, and allowing us to share their story.

How Can We Help You?
If you are over 50, struggling to make ends meet, want a quality affordable home and help when you need it. If you want a good life then contact us on 03 9034 4824.
Who We Are

Wintringham is a not-for-profit welfare organisation created to address the scourge of elderly homelessness. Wintringham Housing is registered in the state of Victoria as a Housing Association.

How Can You Help Us?
Wintringham values the critical roles of staff and volunteers. We also welcome donations and the generosity of philanthropic partners.
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