At Centacare’s Aged Care and Housing team, we witness the incredible resilience of individuals facing adversity every day. The story of Peter and Julia* is a testament to both the struggles and the triumphs experienced by many in our community.

Peter and Julia, both in their early eighties, have dedicated their lives to hard work, paying taxes, and raising their children in rural Queensland. Their peaceful lives took a drastic turn when they received a Notice to Leave from their rental home of over ten years. Despite being on an aged care pension and caring for their two great-grandchildren, Emma and Liam, they were given no option to re-sign or renegotiate their lease. The reality of a 30% increase in rent and a fiercely competitive rental market left them on the brink of homelessness.

Their story is heartbreakingly familiar. Peter and Julia have already faced significant challenges, including losing their granddaughter to drug addiction and being defrauded of their savings. Now, they were on the verge of losing the home they had worked so hard to create for their great-grandchildren.

“We have sole care of Emma and Liam,” Peter shared. “Our granddaughter fell in with some bad people, got involved with drugs, and made bad choices. She died, and we are the only ones in the family who could take the kids in to try and offer some stability. The children have been through so much trauma. They have already experienced more upheaval in their young lives than many of us will in a lifetime.”

Despite their own health issues and the children’s traumatic histories, Peter and Julia created a stable and loving home. The Notice to Leave put them at immediate risk of homelessness. With no savings and limited social support, their situation became dire overnight.

“When we received the notice to vacate our home, it felt as if the ground was crumbling beneath us,” Julia explained. “The thought of failing to keep the children safe, when they have already endured so much loss and disruption, was unbearable. I felt completely helpless, with nowhere to turn.”

Fortunately, through the support of our community and a network of support services, we were able to secure another rental for Peter and Julia just in time. While the stress of the situation left its mark, and they now face higher rent and the potential need to change schools for the children, they expressed immense relief and gratitude for the support they received.

“Every night, when I tuck Emma and Liam into bed, I am reminded of the promise I made their mother—that no matter what, I would keep her children safe,” Julia said. “These children are my heart, and each day I pour all my love into their lives, hoping to ease their past pains with the warmth of a secure home. When we faced the threat of losing our home, the fear was overwhelming.”

Peter and Julia’s story is just one among many in our community where sudden life changes can lead to significant distress and potential homelessness. It is a stark reminder of the growing issue in our community and the need to remember our humanity in dealing with others.

Across Queensland, one in every two hundred people is currently experiencing homelessness. These individuals are sleeping rough, staying in temporary, unstable, or substandard accommodation. Many are elderly people who find themselves vulnerable due to fixed incomes and rising living costs.

There is hope, and that hope comes from the support provided by donors like you. Your tax-deductible contribution today will allow us to continue our work, offering both immediate help and long-term solutions to families like Peter and Julia.

The situation is urgent, and the impact cannot be overstated. With your support, we can continue to provide critical assistance to these families, helping them navigate the challenges while advocating for more sustainable housing solutions.

Please consider making a donation today to help us continue our very practical work in helping families at risk. Every contribution brings us closer to a community where everyone has a place to call home.

Your care today will give a better tomorrow. Thank you for being part of our community’s strength.

We protect the privacy of our clients by changing their names and images. Please know that their stories, and the impact you have on their lives, are very real.

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