Tina credits the support she has found from Home in Place and her fellow tenants with helping her to come off anti-psychotic medication and to start living life again.
Tina had been staying with her son on the Central Coast. She was two days off flying to Adelaide to live with her other son, when she got a call from Home in Place to say they had a unit in a new apartment block in Toukley built through the NSW Government Social and Affordable Housing Fund (SAHF) for her.
“It was the biggest blessing I could imagine. I had my independence back,” Tina says.
“As a single person on a pension you can’t afford to rent in mainstream housing,” she says.
After years of domestic violence and raising her four children largely by herself, Tina has never had many friends. She wasn’t allowed to have them. She moved from Sydney to the Central Coast more than 30 years ago with her second husband when her children were young.
The pressure from ongoing domestic violence led Tina to try to take her own life on two occasions. In a catatonic state she was admitted to a facility and placed on an experimental antipsychotic drug before returning home to her children.
“I was working, devoted to raising my kids, but I was existing. I used drugs to cope with what I now know to be complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Tina says she has never felt as comfortable and supported as she does now. Sometime after moving in, some of the other tenants invited her to join them in the community area.
“It was wonderful to be listening to their stories and also to be heard.”
“There are people from all walks of life in this building, with all sorts of stories to tell. We don’t judge one another. Everyone is welcome and the specialness of the people living here is unbelievable.”
“For the first time in my life I want to live. I am not existing anymore. I am living.”
The friends I have made here have shown me that we’re going to live our best life. They have given me the strength to forgive people from my past – not for them but for me.
We don’t let each other go down wormholes. There are always knocks on the door – ‘are you OK?’”