On The Eighth Day of Christmas My Wish Came True

ON the eighth day of Christmas, my wish came true for a removal van 

Kaillee is a living expert on moving house. She, along with other case workers at McAuley Community Services for Women, last year helped to move 18 women into new homes after they had been living for a while at McAuley House and in our refuges.

“It is always a joyful time for the women, some of whom have been homeless for a considerable time,” Kaillee said.

Top of her wish list though is having a transport company who can quickly provide pro bono help with a van and people to help move furniture and other items into the new home, as well as a donated trailer.

“Some properties are furnished, but public housing and other properties are not, leaving us to scout around very quickly to secure funding or to seek free furniture such as fridges, beds, couches and other essential items,” Kaillee said.

“The turn around on housing is quick and it is often hard to book vans in advance. A special relationship with a transport company, or supporters with vans would be a wish come true.”

McAuley Community Services for Women has access to a range of housing.

“We work closely with the women when they arrive to find out what their goals are, and where they would love to live,” Kaillee said.

This close collaboration is vital, enabling women to move on and out of McAuley House well, informed and ready for the next stage of their journey out of homelessness. For caseworkers, the collaboration is critical too. The more information they have about each woman the better.

“Housing applications can take a number of years to come through, and we regularly have to update information, check on the progress and be ready to move rapidly once an offer is made,” Kaillee said.

Not all women, however, are ready to live by themselves, needing ongoing support due to physical and mental health issues. McAuley’s caseworkers spend time looking for vacancies in women’s only housing or specialist housing.

“Every women we work with is treated as an individual, and we cater to her needs rather than simply place her in the first house that comes along,” Kaillee said.

When the right house does come along, whether it is Office of Housing, supported, private rental or transitional, the action picks up.

“We view the property with the woman we are supporting, we then organise for the services to be set up, and source furniture. We help locate local health services, show the woman where the local supermarkets are, public transport.”

“It is then time to find to that all important removal van, load up and transport everything to the new home.” Kaillee said.

This Christmas our wish list includes offers of pro bono removal vans, along with people who can help lift, pack and carry furniture into a woman’s new home. It costs around $300 to hire a van and driver, and can take the whole day to move.