May 31 2019
Parenthood is no mean feat for anyone, particularly for a single mum with a young child experiencing homelessness.
Rhyannon, 23, and her nearly three-year-old daughter experienced homelessness together
for around five months. They found temporary places to stay, couchsurfing between friends’ houses.
Often not having much in the way of a bed or bedding, Rhyannon would sleep on the floor to ensure her three-year-old would be safe and comfortable.
“I learnt very quickly not to take things for granted. Being kicked out, feeling what it feels like to have little money, to have nowhere to go, feeling cold… It is a bit of an eye opener.”
Rhyannon says she was fortunate that a friend who had also experienced homelessness recommended Rhyannon speak with Launch Housing. About one day later she secured an appointment with a staff member at Launch Housing’s Young Adults Program in South Yarra.
After Rhyannon went through an initial assessment, the South Yarra team began a rigorous process of seeking out potential housing options which included putting Rhyannon on the transitional housing waiting list, applying for public housing and looking at private rental and share housing.
Rhyannon and her daughter were placed on a priority list with Department of Health and Human Services Office of Housing and within weeks they secured a subsidised two-bedroom apartment.
“I feel really comfortable and I feel really happy where I am. I’m thankful not only to Launch Housing but to Alison and Sarah (Launch Housing Support Workers). It really has helped out a lot.”
In the six months since Rhyannon and her daughter moved into their new home, her daughter has been able to get into a strong routine, and Rhyannon has been able to address her depression and anxiety.
Rhyannon is looking forward to getting Alexis into childcare. She is also seeing the benefits of Alexis
being around other children in their apartment complex, and is keen to begin a TAFE course in counselling to use what she’s learnt from her personal experience to help others.
“The first night that [my daughter] stayed at the new place, she slept in her own bed straight away, slept in, and the day after that she was much happier.”
“It took a bit of coaching for me to come to Launch Housing because I’m always thinking ‘people always
need more help than I do.’”
“I’m really grateful that I landed myself here.”