Crystal’s Journey with Evolve Housing

Jan 27, 2023 , , , , , ,

Crystal Wright, 38, surprised Evolve Housing when she travelled almost three hours for the first event of 2023, the Imaginate school holiday program at Aquatopia. 

The single mother-of-two saw the poster for the age inclusive event in Evolve Housing’s December newsletter and knew it would be a fantastic opportunity for her children to go out and have fun.  

Travelling all the way from Newcastle to the City of Fairfield where Aquatopia is located, Crystal said the drive was more of a road trip for herself and her two children, Preston, 14, and Noah, 11. 

“The kids had been inside on devices all school holidays and I thought it would be a great opportunity for them to get out and have some fun in the sun at an event where there’d be other children,” Crystal told Evolve Housing. 

“The event was free, so I didn’t see it as a long drive from Newcastle, I just saw it as going to have some fun and a road trip with my kids.” 

Preston wandered off on his own to enjoy the rides while Crystal and Noah went on the huge water slides and the wave pool, which was his favourite.  

Noah described the day as “fun”, while Preston said it was a “really good day”.  

Crystal joined in the fun as well and said the rides were “exhilarating and the adrenaline was rushing. It was so much fun. I would do it again.”  

And what way to kick off the year than with an exciting summer holiday event which Crystal commended Evolve Housing for.  

“I just want to thank Evolve Housing for putting on a day like that in the school holidays for the kids and giving them the opportunity to be able to go out and have a fun day,” she said.  

“We did not have to worry about the food or the cost. Everything was provided and all we had to do was jump in the car and be able to be there. So, thank you to Evolve.” 

Crystal’s journey with Evolve Housing only began just over two years ago when she received a job in aged care in Newcastle, a fair bit away from where she was located in outer western Sydney.  

Her children stayed with their grandmother to finish the school year while she travelled to Newcastle and stayed with a friend, started her new job and began looking for a new home for her family.  

“Being a single parent, no one was looking at me because of the rental crisis and I applied for this place (current home) because it’s affordable housing,” she revealed.  

Crystal shockingly revealed that she applied for over 117 houses and was knocked back for each one. 

Soon enough she came across her current property on the rental list and was shocked to see that it was so cheap compared to everything else she had seen. 

After taking a look, she found that it was listed as affordable housing and there was a criteria to be met to be eligible for the property.  

The determined mother cross checked the criteria and found out that she was eligible for the property and applied through Evolve Housing. 

“My property manager rang and told me I got the place. I was so happy!” she said. 

“Rentals were going up and I simply couldn’t afford the prices, like $700 for a house with one income. 

“That’s why I needed Evolve Housing services and thank God, I love it here, it’s so convenient.” 

The small family have been living in Newcastle for just over two years now and Crystal says that she loves it so much that she won’t go back to where she came from.  

“It was a good change, we like being able to have good opportunities around especially for the boys who have settled in and made friends,” Crystal continued.  

“I have also made friends through work at the aged care centre as well as friends who lived here but have since moved.”  

When asked about her experience with Evolve Housing, Crystal could not be any happier with the place and the location.  

“It’s been great, and I haven’t had any issues. We love the location – we’re five minutes from the beach and 50m from the harbour.”  

Crystal continues to take each day as it comes but is hoping to go back and study Community Youth to try and help kids choose a better path.  

“I didn’t make all the right choices when I was young, and I really want to help steer kids who might go off the rail to make the right choices.”  

She said it was a dream being able to move to Newcastle with her children despite being knocked back for so many properties.  

Crystal feared that she would have to give up her new job and became “disheartened” when she kept receiving rejections.  

“The fact that they (Evolve Housing) looked at me and looked at my application and said, ‘she’s a single person’ was absolutely amazing at the time. 

“I’m just so thankful that I was able to get this place because of Evolve Housing because without that we wouldn’t be here. 

“I am so thankful to Evolve Housing.”  

When it comes to her children, Crystal hopes that they finish school, get a good education, and be “just happy and follow their dreams”.  

She said her children’s schools are giving them programs that help them a lot and has even seen Preston pick up surfing.  

“It’s been a positive step being here for them and it’s because its affordable housing it means I can have the money for other things that we need like the surfing lessons.” 

Despite the crazy journey to get to where she is now, Crystal is upset at the rental crisis that is affecting so many who are in the same position she was. 

“People shouldn’t have to be homeless, and housing should be affordable. We should be able to get housing and the crisis at the moment is ridiculous,” she said.

“Housing services have been really good in doing what they can as well as offering services and support that aren’t related to housing.  

“It’s unattainable for the average person to rent a property and it should be a basic right to have property.” 

Crystal offered some words of encouragement to those still struggling: “Don’t give up, there are services out there that can help you.”