• 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

International Women’s Day; Judith’s story

by Wintringham Communications

This International Women’s Day we are sharing Judith’s inspiring story, which is one of overcoming adversity and taking back control of her life. Now, Judith wants to empower other vulnerable women to see their worth and accept the help they deserve, so they too can lead fulfilling lives.

Wintringham’s ‘Homelessness to a Home’ (H2H) client Judith has experienced her fair share of trauma having recently lived in an unsafe rooming house where she was threatened with physical violence. The experience left Judith suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) where she felt depressed, anxious, and wanting to end her life. However, through Judith’s strong will, along with the wonderful support from her partner, step-son and Wintringham H2H Support Worker Glenda, she joined the H2H program and now has a new life, in a secure home.

From unsafe housing to feeling safe again.

Judith was living with her younger son in Melbourne’s north-east but after suffering an injury which prevented her from being able to work and pay her rent, Judith and her son were evicted. She suggested her son move in with his older brother where he’d be looked after. “I couldn’t stay with them because there wasn’t enough room, and my son needed the support so he wouldn’t get into trouble,” says Judith. “He’s now working, which is great. And it was then that I moved into a rooming house.”

She recalled the awful situations she witnessed there such as people on ice, including the man who attacked her with a machete. Thankfully there were no serious injuries but the event still left long lasting mental scars.

Not knowing where to get help, Judith thankfully had her partner and step-son to lean on for support while she was living at the rooming house. However, it was Outreach Worker Catherine from Tenants Victoria who learned of her situation, and immediately contacted the Wintringham H2H program to access safe housing for her.

In June 2021, Judith joined Wintringham’s H2H program which supports older people who were living in temporary hotel accommodation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m now living in a beautiful one bedroom unit, close to parks and ovals,” says Judith. She doesn’t live alone though as she has great company from her American Bulldog named Bluey who she says has really helped build her confidence. Judith loves to take Bluey to the park nearby and let him run around and play while she gets to meet and chat with other local dog owners.

However, two months into living in her new home Judith began to have nightmares and flashbacks of what happened to her in the rooming house. “My Wintringham Support Worker Glenda recommended I call Lifeline, so I did, and I found it therapeutic to talk to people about what happened.”

“Glenda is so good and so honest,” says Judith. “She’ll tell you what she thinks and will get you out of a bad mood. To me Glenda is like my best friend – we can talk about anything.”

Judith also loves watching the cricket and footy with her next door neighbour Matt; they have great conversations and laugh a lot together. “But we’re also there to support one another when things get tough,” said Judith. “Matt said I’m never allowed to leave because I’m the best neighbour he’s had!” she said, laughing.

Judith’s self-esteem and confidence is higher than ever before. “Wintringham is awesome and has done heaps for me,” said Judith. “Everyone in the H2H program is very understanding, very supportive, and you can make good friends out of it. They’re there for you and boost you up when you need it.”

“I’ll always be at Wintringham, no matter what happens. You’ll never get rid of me!”

Judith now wants to be an advocate for vulnerable people and empower them to find the help they deserve. “I want to help people realise that others can be there to help you, not hurt you, but only if you let them in.”

If you are or know someone aged 50 and over, who is experiencing or vulnerable to homelessness, please contact our Advice and Information team on (03) 9034 4824.

If you or anyone you know is in need of support, call LifeLine on 13 11 14 for 24/7 crisis support, or visit their website www.lifeline.org.au

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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