My name is John, I’m a retired special needs teacher and I live in the Moreton Bay Region. I’m in my late 60’s, and I live with a disability. I’m currently on a Level 3 Home Care Package, I’ve been assessed for a Level 4 package but I’ve been on a waiting list for nearly 2 years.

I receive in-home support including help with cleaning and shopping, along with some nursing support. I also get taxi vouchers to go to appointments, and in the past, I’ve had assistance with support aids and appliances, including a new electronic bed so I get in and out of bed more easily.

I’ve been at risk of homelessness since my rental property was sold to developers earlier in the year. I contacted the local Neighbourhood Centre to apply for emergency housing and was referred to a Council support worker. They helped me complete a 28-page application form, but I was advised that as I’m not an Australia Citizen, I’m not eligible for emergency housing. I’ve lived in Australia for over 30 years, 21 in paid employment.

I contacted the local Councillor and State Member for assistance in finding suitable accommodation but was told I would have to be homeless before receiving help. However, the local Councillor was able to secure me a 3-month extension on my rental property.

Fortunately, my daughter was able to secure me a rental property in the Southwestern suburbs of Brisbane, close by to where she lives, less than a month before I was due to be homeless.

My support worker plays an important role in my life, she’s often the only person I see all week. She does the shopping and knows to buy the home-brand products from ALDI because I’m on a budget. If she isn’t available and a different person visits, they don’t always know that, and my shopping bill can double because they go to Woolworths or Coles. She also takes time to have a cuppa and a chat with me before she leaves.

All my support workers have helped with my housing crisis, including helping me pack up all my belongings, to move to my new home. I don’t see family regularly, so social contact is important.

I’m happy to have a home to go to after all the uncertainty but I know I’ll need to renegotiate my homecare package, because I’m moving to a new area. I’m feeling a little anxious about what will be involved and the time it will take.