Lorraine was a single mother living in a women’s refuge before Evolve Housing welcomed her into her first home in Australia. With worry of where she and her child would live out of the way, her warmth and strength quickly shone through and she found a job doing what she loves.
This is a story of how Lorraine did not let her turbulent past paralyse her and eventually rose above it to become the exceptional person she is today.
My name is Lorraine and I am 46 years old. I am originally from Auckland, New Zealand and have been living in Australia since 2000.
I was living in a women’s refuge after my ex-husband and I split up when I was offered a place by Evolve Housing. It came right when I needed it. It became my son and my home and we loved it.
'It feels like home'
As a single mother, being able to provide for my son was the biggest challenge I faced. I wanted to be able to give him a decent quality of life but I did not have a job back then so I struggled to do that. However I was always grateful for having a place of my own. I did not know where my life was heading prior to getting the house. When I did, it gave me a base to start pulling myself up and out. It gave my son and I a solid foundation to begin life again. I told my son we could now get a bike, or get a dog, because we now have a backyard. It feels like home.
I am a qualified gardener and was looking for work. I read about the Resident Employment Program* in Evolve Housing’s newsletter and decided to send in an application. One of Evolve Housing’s partners, SR construction, was hiring at that time. They rung me up to offer me a job and I gladly took it.
Connecting with people
Once I was employed again I begin to open myself up. I used to keep to myself, but I am very good with people. My job allows me to connect with people and I love that. I know many of our clients personally and make sure I help them as best as I can, not just in gardening but also in other matters. It makes me feel good to be able to help and give back.
My biggest dream is to one day own my own home. If I could I would actually buy the house I am in now, and renovate it. Australia is my home and I would like to stay here with my family.
* Evolve Housing's Resident Employment Program provides full-time employment to selected residents. The program is developed in partnership with our head contractor, SR Constructions.
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