30 July 2021


Towing her pop top van to the local caravan park, the future looked bleak for Fleurieu local Gerry.

It had been a stressful few months for the 78-year-old widow who rented a lovely cottage in the area for three years before things changed.

“COVID hit and the rental market really started to tighten up,” Junction’s Early Intervention Prevention Officer Jodie explained.

“The owners needed to end the lease at the cottage to allow their elderly parents to move in.

“This all happened just as rentals in the area became almost impossible to secure, particularly when you are on an aged pension like Gerry.”

With no available rentals, Jodie liaised with the cottage owners who were very co-operative extending the lease twice as Gerry continued to search for a new home . Gerry desperately wanted to stay in the region where she was surrounded by her support network – including her pets. However, her options eventually ran out. As a last resort she moved into a pop-top caravan.

Gerry towed her small van to the local Caravan Park complete with her little dog, three cats and her birds in their aviary.

“Her animals are huge part of her support network and it was important that she had them in her daily life to support her and keep her company,” Jodie explained.

Gerry spent eight weeks living at the local caravan park. She continued to work closely with Junction to navigate potential opportunities and harness support and approached real estate agents independently as well.

“She was told about a small home that was undergoing some maintenance but a few weeks away,” Jodie said. “Gerry was very pro-active in following up with the agent weekly. Eventually, the home was ready to rent offered to her.”

Now settled, Gerry – and her pets – are settled and loving their new home and looking forward to spring!

Gerry was supported by Jodie through the Staying Home on the Fleurieu Program – a pilot project delivered by Junction, funded through the Wyatt Trust and Fleurieu Community Foundation.

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