Kate and her daughter find stability through H2H

In 2020 Launch Housing was selected to become the largest provider of services for the Victorian Government’s From Homelessness to a Home (H2H) initiative.

The initiative was designed to provide people who are residing in emergency accommodation due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with access to stable medium and long term housing and support. H2H is available to 1,845 households with Launch Housing providing support to 420 of these individuals, families and couples.

For Kate*, support through the H2H program came at a critical juncture.

Kate describes living a relatively normal life with a good working history, until her partner stopped paying their rent leading to an eviction. From this first major setback, Kate experienced difficulty for a number of years in securing private rental for her and her daughter.

“I was a normal girl, this could happen to anyone, you get with a shit bloke and then he mucks up. It went from one bad thing to another. At the end of the day I’ve come out of it. I’ve learnt a lot,” she said.

Throughout 2020 Kate and her daughter were living in hotels in Melbourne city, initially paid for by herself and then with help from Launch Housing. While staying in hotel accommodation, Kate invested a lot of effort in inspecting properties and submitting rental applications. She reported all viewed properties were really sub-optimal (“horrible”) but she would have accepted anything to have security for her and her daughter.

Just when Kate was coming to terms with having to accept a property far out of town, that would barely meet their needs, she was connected with a Launch Housing support worker who determined she was eligible for the H2H program.

Kate said this “was like winning the lottery.” Not only did it mean they had secured transitional housing for 18 months in walking distance to her daughter’s school, Kate and her daughter would then move into permanent housing after this time.

“Knowing we have a constant stable place together makes me feel very relieved. A big weight off my shoulders. It’s a massive relief for the both of us. No one can muck us up with rent. It’s just me and her and that’s how we wanted it to be.”

Without H2H, options would have been limited, and instability would have caused real long-term harm, possibly leading to more extreme forms of homelessness. Importantly, Kate’s story exemplifies the importance of providing suitable housing at the right time.

“I’m able to save now, whether it’s a $20 a week, for my girl, it ends up being $1,000 a year. It’s something I’ve always done for her. Now I’m able to put away some money for me.

“It’s an awesome feeling to know I can stand on my own, do it myself. It’s a satisfying feeling, knowing I’m going to be alright and things can only get better,” she said.

From Homelessness to a Home is an important example of what can be achieved with the right resources. With programs like this being made available through State Government support, Launch Housing and its partners can work together to effectively end people’s experience of homelessness.

*Name changed to maintain anonymity

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