In a good place

Residential housing service

Tasmanians have told us how their lives have changed for the better since moving into a residential housing service managed by Anglicare.

“We recently conducted focus groups and interviews with tenants at eight different facilities around the state,” said Belinda Jones, Anglicare’s Supported Residential Services Manager. “We are always eager to learn from tenants about what’s working well and where things can be improved”.

Anglicare asked tenants about their experience of living at either a youth facility, a supported facility (with meals and other services provided), or in self-contained accommodation managed by Anglicare.

“When I first saw my room I bawled my eyes out because I was so happy”, said one tenant. “It’s a good place, it feels safe”, said another. “From being on the street before this, having somewhere safe and secure to go to every night is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” said a tenant who had experienced homelessness. “You’re safe, well fed and warm”.

Importantly, tenants reported significant improvements in their health and well-being, relationships with others, and their own confidence and decision-making.

Participants said their physical fitness had increased since moving into the accommodation. They gave a range of reasons for this including the support they had received to manage a medical condition, access to gym equipment, and being drug and alcohol free. Many tenants also said they had a healthier diet, with increased access to nutritional produce. “Here there’s variety and vegetables, I’m definitely eating healthier and eating more now,” commented a tenant. People said they had learned about food preparation and meal planning.

87.5% of tenants reported improvements in their mental health. Many had previously experienced depression and/or anxiety and said the best thing about moving into a residential housing facility was the support they received. “The people here saved my life. I’d be dead now if it wasn’t for my support worker” said one.

Tenants told us they valued the sense of community at their home, and the majority said they had made new friends and improved their social skills and sense of trust. “I’ve got really good friends and stable friendships. Living in a social environment helps” said one tenant. “I’ve learnt to be able to speak up and be more confident” another said.

“We’re like a small village, we all know each other, we all have our own space,” is how one tenant described their home and its residents. “The majority of the people here have been through the same stuff as I have so it’s easy to have a conversation with them. It is a community here, I feel part of something”.

Some tenants had reconnected with family and reported feeling emotionally stronger. “I never made any moves or effort to see them when I was on the street. I never used to have a sense of pride and now I can invite them over” said one tenant. Another commented that Anglicare workers had helped them to locate and contact estranged family members.

Many people who took part in the interviews and surveys said Anglicare had supported them to establish structures and routines. They said that since moving into their home, they were better at managing money, making decisions and solving problems. “My attitude towards myself has changed,” a tenant said. “Before it was so overwhelming. I couldn’t see past the next day and now I can plan into the future. This place has given me a chance to regain my life back and unpack all the trauma”. “The best thing about me since being here is I’ve found the confidence, and a drive to want to do more with my life than what I was originally doing,” another tenant said.

Many of the tenants had previously experienced homelessness and had moved to the Anglicare accommodation from a shelter, couch-surfing or sleeping rough. They said the reasons for their homelessness had included relationship breakdowns, domestic violence, mental health issues, difficulties with living independently, financial problems or substance abuse.

“I’ve definitely changed and I now know what I want and I know I’m going to achieve it,” a tenant said. “We’ve got everything we need here, we’re just a few steps away from success,” commented another.

“I used to have no hope, but I have some now”.

Find out more about Anglicare’s Housing Support services.

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