Story 17: Representing Denise from Homelessness to a Home

2021: South Australia

Denise* was staying in emergency accommodation when she was referred to Homeless Legal. She had been living in a shared rental property but was forced to leave suddenly when threats were made against her by the other tenants. They told her they would only give her 28 days to collect her possessions – but this was an unmanageable timeframe for Denise who didn’t have the money to pay for a removalist and storage unit.

Our pro bono lawyers wrote to the other tenants, seeking more time and reminding them that they had obligations in relation to disposing of other people’s property.

Due to the tension between the parties, the lawyers remained involved and helped to organise a mutually convenient collection time. With Denise’s permission, the lawyers also collaborated with her support workers who found her a home to move into and supported her to arrange an affordable removalist.

The collection was completed without incident and Denise told us how pleased she was to be able to move on from this difficult time.

“I feel happy & content after just a few weeks in my own home & I have realised this is the result of no longer being homeless & the powerful experience of remembering my worth.

“I really appreciate everything you have done for me on this matter & the kindness & understanding you have shown me during this difficult time. I feel incredibly lucky as to how all this has panned out & all the help I have received. I can’t express enough just what a difference to the quality of my everyday life & living your assistance & guidance has made.”

*Name changed to protect privacy

This story was submitted by Homeless Legal.