Brighter future for family

Jessica Millward, GERALDTON GUARDIANGeraldton Guardian
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Donna and Tom and their five children have been homeless for two years.

They had been living in a rental property at Waggrakine for seven years when Donna got terribly sick.

She underwent a major operation to repair a burst abscess, but must now wear a colostomy bag for the rest of her life.

After the operation, Donna descended into a deep depression.

“I felt like a freak,” she said.

The family needed a change, so they packed up their car and headed south, moving between Bunbury, Perth, Mandurah and Gingin living out of a tent.

However, the children were missing Geraldton, and missing their old schools, so 12 months ago the family made the decision to return home, but they couldn’t find anywhere to live.

Donna said being a large family it was impossible to secure a private rental.

“As soon as they hear you’ve got five kids, they don’t want to know about you,” she said.

They lived in a leaky caravan for 12 months before the Sun City Christian Centre came to their aid and offered them short-term crisis accommodation.

“If a healthcare worker saw the conditions we were living in, they would have had a fit,” she said.

“We felt like the whole world was against us.

“We kept hitting brick walls and no one would give us a fair go.

“I was walking around feeling like a failure but now we feel like normal people again.”

Last week, the family received the best news possible — the Department of Housing has approved their application for a home.

“It was like winning the jackpot in lotto,” she said.

“Nothing good ever happens to us, but now I can see the positive light at the end of the tunnel.

“I feel like the luckiest lady alive.”

Homelessness Prevention Week: August 3 to 9.

RELATED COVERAGE: Big numbers of hidden homeless, says Shelter WA or (http://yhoo.it/1OP92aF) and Charities shine a light on those doing it tough or (http://yhoo.it/1E6XFFj)

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