Supporting Kathy through the risk of homelessness

When you visit Kathy in her home, you know that you’re always going to get a good meal! A trained chef, Kathy had worked her whole life in the restaurant industry, dedicating her talents to feeding Sydney food-lovers.

However, the long hours and hard physical nature of kitchen work took its toll on Kathy. After a series of untreated illnesses, Kathy developed a severe lung infection that prevented her from working – and the casual nature of her work meant that she didn’t get paid if she didn’t clock in for a shift.

Kathy became so unwell that she became housebound and only received medical attention when she fell behind in her rent payments and the real estate agency conducted a welfare check. Sadly at this time, Kathy’s tenancy was terminated and she was told that she would become homeless while she was still recuperating in hospital.

YWCA was able to support Kathy with an application for temporary accommodation after she left the hospital, to ensure she had somewhere to go when she was discharged. During this time, we continued to work with Kathy until we managed to help her secure long-term affordable accommodation at a subsidised rate.

YWCA continued our support through the Pathways to Independence program in Sydney. We were able to use program funding to help book a moving company and buy Kathy a fridge in her new unit – the first step to re-entering the kitchen and re-discovering her love of cooking!

Thanks to YWCA and our Pathways to Independence program, Kathy has now settled into her unit without the looming threat of homelessness.

Pathways to Independence provides case management and support for women over the age of 50 who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Pathways clients are supported to build strategies to prevent future homelessness, receiving services including counselling, advice and referrals, financial counselling, assistance with employment and training, support to reconnect with their community, assistance in navigating the welfare system, and more.

Will you help to fund Pathways to Independence for the next year?

Join us in Breaking the Cycle of housing distress and homelessness – we are aiming to raise $125,000 this year through our spin class fundraising challenge in Sydney and Melbourne.

Every dollar you fundraise or donate makes a difference to women experiencing homelessness. $5 can pay a train fare to an appointment at Centrelink, $50 can buy a night of accommodation or groceries for several days, $500 can buy three weeks of safe crisis accommodation, and $5,000 can establish sustainable tenancies for five women.

Now is the time to act!

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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