Some bad luck and some really bad decisions led to Marree spending time in prison. After her release, she was provided with transitional housing, worked as a cleaner, and reconnected with her daughters. She felt valuable and productive, but it was devastating to look for permanent housing and realise that she couldn’t afford a decent place for her and her daughters to live. Eight years ago, WPI offered Marree a brand-new house in a new suburb in Melbourne’s west. With affordable rent, she’s worked, raised a family, and created a warm and inviting home.
“Most people in jail were in and out, in and out. They didn’t have secure housing – it was a big factor in them getting into trouble over and over. We’ve had lots of celebrations here, 21st’s, Easter egg hunts, Christmas dinners…simple things, but you can’t do them without a stable home. You know that you won’t get kicked out for no reason, or the rent won’t go up higher than you can afford. My daughters had a solid base to depend on and now my granddaughter spends part of her time here. Lately, bad health has stopped me from working, which I miss. Without community housing where the rent is based on my income – I would have lost my home!”