Matthew’s story  

Matthew and his kids are home and healthy

“Having somewhere stable to live has made a big difference. So much has changed in the past few months. Everything has started to get better.”

Matthew is a single father of two children aged 8 and 5 who both have complex needs.

The family was living in unsafe housing as a result of flood damage, and the home’s condition was impacting the family’s health. Unfortunately their landlord ignored repeated requests for repairs.

Matthew was searching for a new home, but it was hard. The housing crisis meant it was difficult to find suitable, affordable housing and Matthew’s mental health symptoms made the process of searching and applying for housing impossible without additional support.

When the family received a mortgagee repossession notice to leave, they were at immediate risk of homelessness and child protection intervention, and Matthew’s mental health symptoms were exacerbated.

When Matthew was referred to YFS, Janet from the Home and Healthy program jumped into action immediately. She assisted Matthew to communicate with the landlord and the mortgagee’s legal team so that the family could stay in the property until they found a new home. She also advocated to the Department of Housing to receive a priority allocation for housing.

With this support and advocacy from Home and Healthy the family secured a Department of Housing property in the same area, increasing stability and consistency for the children.

Janet also referred Matthew to a YFS financial counsellor for support with managing his money and provided guidance on understanding his responsibilities as a tenant.

Matthew says it really helped having the support around him. “It’s a good process,” he said. “Having good people around and knowing that someone was always available to talk to, was great. I 100% feel that I can still approach YFS for assistance if I need to.”

Once he had stable housing Matthew was able to focus on his and his children’s health. The Home and Healthy team helped Matthew liaise with an existing NDIS provider to ensure that his oldest son’s needs were being met. They also assisted him to access other supports for himself and his youngest son.

Matthew and the children are thriving in their new home. Janet says, “Matthew is such a good dad, and it’s great to see him and the children doing well. Even though there are still ups and downs, Matthew is now better equipped to navigate crisis, he has more capacity to advocate for himself and knows where he can reach out for support.”

Matthew says that having somewhere stable to live has made a big difference. “So much has changed in the past few months. Everything has started to get better.”