They say love conquers all and for Leticia and Dale, nothing could be truer.
After an eight year gap, the former schoolmates bumped into each other last year on Christmas Eve.
The pair instantly hit it off and started to date the very next day. Soon enough, they craved to live together as a couple, but their situation prevented them.
Leticia and Dale have an intellectual disability. At the time, they were living separately in their own supported accommodation.
For a while, they tried couch surfing at each other’s share homes. But their accommodation providers quickly put an end to that.
“I kept on running away,” Dale said.
“And every time he ran away, he tried to find me, and everywhere I went he did find me,” Leticia added.
Soon enough, they were forced onto the streets of Logan. To them, it was better to live a life of love on the streets than it was to live apart.
As soon as our Community Connections disability support workers heard that Leticia and Dale were homeless, they alerted our Housing 1st team.
Our Housing 1st workers quickly arranged Leticia and Dale to spend a couple of nights at a local motel. The couple’s safety was their most immediate concern.
They then worked intensely to find more suitable long-term accommodation.
Fast running out of options, the team made a unique application to the Department of Public Works and Housing for Leticia and Dale to live together in their own home, independently, with appropriate supports.
The department agreed.
“I was so excited to move in together,” Leticia said. “I’m loving it here.”
“And I was really happy to move into our own home,” Dale added. “It’s the first time I’ve felt that it’s my own life.
“I like it when she looks after me when I’m sick. She’s also a good cook.”
“But I think we’re together because we both like to laugh and enjoy funny things,” Leticia said.
Karen is one of our Housing 1st workers who has been backing Leticia and Dale since day one.
“To secure long-term housing, there were a lot of moving parts that we needed to fine-tune and link together. It was a bit like putting a puzzle together,” Karen said.
“We worked with a number of people to build a solution that met the couple’s needs and their wish for independence.
“We negotiated with the Public Guardian, the Public Trustee, the Department of Public Works and Housing, and the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.”
The Kyabra Community Association provides up to 10 hours of support each day to help Leticia and Dale with daily living skills and community connections.
Also, support staff are able to sleep over, when necessary.
The lovebirds are enjoying their abode so much they are extending the love to everyone around them.
Recently, Leticia baked 83 cupcakes as a fundraising drive that she initiated to support farmers experiencing hardship because of the current drought.
Leticia and Dale then walked from door to door, asking their neighbours if they’d like to pitch in and support farmers by buying a cupcake.