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Journey Home Story 4: Cheryl's Story


Cheryl was pregnant and left to fend for herself when she unexpectedly lost her place to live. She was a single mother with two children when she came to Evolve Housing. Through our support services and sheer perseverance, Cheryl turned her life around and is now a proud home owner. She also found an extraordinary way to give back.

This is her story.

My name is Cheryl and I live in the Western Suburbs.

I used to live in private rental property 30 years ago but was forced to move out when my landlord wanted to sell the property. I was pregnant at that time and had nowhere to go, so I applied for emergency housing with Housing NSW and was given a place to live in Wenty Estate.

'I was terrified'

When I first moved in to Wenty housing I was absolutely terrified. I had never been to a place like that in my life. As a working, single mother, life was not easy. When my ex-husband left, I did not have any money left to my name. One day the electricity bill came and I did not know how I was going to pay for it. I decided from that moment on that I would save every single penny that I could save.

Interactive image: Mouse-over Cheryl's picture above to view her video interview, pictures, read her story, and share them on your favourite social network by clicking the share button on the top right corner of the image. 

Employment opportunity

After 10 years living in Wenty Estate I applied for social housing and moved into a property of Western Suburb Housing (now Evolve Housing). My housing manager at that time asked if I would like to work part time for the company and I agreed. I worked as a receptionist, job-shared with a housing manager colleague and was eventually offered a full-time position as a housing manager. All while I was still an Evolve Housing resident!

Owning her own home

My dream has always been to own my own property. I was very good at saving and as a community housing tenant I did not have to pay full market rent, so that enabled me to save even more. When my mother passed away I inherited some money from her. Combine that with what I have saved, I finally managed to get into a financial position to purchase my own property four years ago. I also remarried and my two children are now grown-ups.

I am very grateful for the opportunities that Evolve Housing has given me. They not only provided me with a home when I needed one, they also gave me a job. My way of giving back is by working as a housing manager to help our residents. I have a really good relationship with our residents because having been where I was, I can relate to them, and help them. 

If you would like to send Cheryl messages of support, this is what you can do:

We will compile your messages and make sure Cheryl gets them. 

Follow the journey of our residents. Connect, share, engage, inspire!

Next week: Vera's story