• 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

What having a home means, to those who don’t have one

by Communications

Theresia starts a new life at Highton

It’s been three weeks since Theresia moved into her new home at the Alexander Miller Wintringham homes in Highton. Having been here only a short time, she’s happy to have now found again what she had lost; Theresia says she’s regained her dignity and feels at peace in her new ‘home until stumps’.

“When I was told that I was unemployable in my late 50’s, I set out to get the education I never had when I was younger, so while living on a disability pension, I did a Professional Writing course, then went on to complete my Bachelor of Arts with majors in Philosophy and Sociology, and even completed my Honours,” said Theresia.

“I loved using my skills through volunteering as a social worker; I was always helping others. I never dreamed for one minute that I would be the one in need of a home; until last year in June when a mini-tornado hit my rental property that I’d been living in for 19 years. It was the beginning of what felt like, was the end for me.

“I am a mother of six, grandmother of 19, and great grandmother of nine. I am lucky that I had my children to help me, I couch-surfed and lived with my children and grandchildren for a few months, but they too had their own challenges and life pressures to deal with.

“I lived out of a suitcase and the only possessions I had with me were my clothes and toiletries. I spoke to Denise my Case Manager from Wintringham, and put on a brave face and said that I was doing ok, but in fact, I wasn’t, far from it.

“Being homeless for me meant that I lost my sense of self, my sense of identity, and to be honest, I didn’t care if I was here anymore. I was at a very low place.

“Having always been in command of my life, this loss of identity affected me so deeply; I never felt like this before. As you get older I guess your resilience isn’t what it used to be.

“After having regular contact with Denise, it gave me the courage to say I’m not alright – it gave me the strength to tell my truth. I was so desperate for help.

“After just three weeks of living at Wintringham I feel like I’m regaining my identity, and I’m resuming the activities that I love so much like ballroom dancing. I now have a home for life. You have no idea what a huge impact that can have on a person and their outlook on life.

“I can’t stress how important it is to give people the opportunity to maintain their dignity and sense of self, while also being respected as an individual.

“Having my own home now and the right support structures around me, means that I somehow feel whole again, and ready to share my skills with others in whatever way I can.”

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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