Man holding his dog

Nathan loves living in social housing in Thornton

Nathan has made friends despite his limited mobility and in less than two years in his new home, Nathan has made quite an impact in his community.

Nathan loves his Home in Place managed social housing home at Thornton near the NSW city of Maitland.

Since moving into the brand new home in 2021 he feels safer, less stressed and more supported.

At age 9, Nathan contracted meningitis. The disease, which causes brain swelling, brings lifelong disabilities. He had to relearn everything – including talking and walking. Some things did not return, including his hearing.

Despite the challenges and obstacles that the disease brings, Nathan has a positive approach to life.

“I don’t complain. I just keep doing my best,” Nathan says.

Nathan didn’t enjoy living in his previous home in Newcastle.

At Thornton he has made friends despite his limited mobility. In less than two years in his new home, Nathan has made quite an impact in his community.

“I usually start off by just doing a slow lap around the complex. People come out give me a bit of a wave and say hello.”

“At Christmas time, I put little chocolate Santas and stuff like that in Ziploc bags, and I just drop them off in the letterboxes. A few of the families around realise it is me; the parents thank me. The kids didn’t know who it is. I tell them it is Santa’s helper.”

One of his best friends lives over the road.

“We are always going back and forth to each other’s houses. He’s got disabilities as well. We both have support workers.”

Nathan considers himself lucky. He is grateful for his home and the support he receives from Home in Place staff.

“I feel comfortable, relaxed, supported and you guys are a good team.”

He said moving in was stress free too because staff members that helped him through it. The team knew the Thornton home and community was more appropriate to his needs. He is close to services and can live with his Jack Russell dog and faithful companion Izzy.

“When I first came here, the Home in Place Tailor Support Coordinators Michael and Mia were fantastic.

“I hadn’t even had a chance to let the dust settle, I was still moving in. Mia was here having a chat with me, asking ‘how can we help you settle in?’ ‘What services might you need?’.

Nathan’s home is one of 65 in a new social housing and affordable housing community built by Home in Place under the NSW Government’s Social and Affordable Housing Fund. Completed at the end of 2020, it is one of almost 500 homes that were built across 19 sites in the Hunter and Central Coast regions.