Hannah won’t forget her 30th birthday in a hurry.
The oral health therapist celebrated the milestone by becoming a home owner.
TShe moved into her three bedroom townhouse at Mitchell Park just a few weeks after celebrating “three decades around the sun”.
THannah’s home was one of the first of to be handed over within The Avenues, a $16 million dollar Junction housing development built by Palumbo Construction. The project comprises 30 new homes for South Australians.
TPrior to moving into her new home, Hannah had rented for several years before moving back in with her parents.
“I’d been looking to buy for quite a while,” she said. “Then came COVID and I thought it (home ownership) wouldn’t happen for me.
“I’d been really looking at established homes. I’d met Justin (Ray White Glenelg) at one of the inspections. Around the same time the development came up in my online searches.
“I ended up going in and having a chat with Justin at the office. The communication was great and I made my mind up pretty quickly from there.”
Hannah said she was very attracted by the look and feel of her new home but the location really “sold” her.
“Where it’s situated it’s not too far from home or work so it’s very convenient,” she said. “I thought I would have to go much further out.
“It’s modern, very bright and much roomier than you even imagine from the plans so when I walked in for the first time it just had a really warm feel about it.”
Hannah’s home will be one of more than 100 homes Junction hands over between now and the end of the financial year.
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.
If you are an existing client, you can call 1800 809 273.
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If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, you can call the Homelessnes Gateway on 1800 003 308 or visit sa.gov.au/topics/housing/emergency-shelter-and-homelessness
“It’s helped me dramatically,” Stephen, who has struggled with mental health challenges for many years, said.
Junction’s Early Intervention and Prevention Worker Jodie Price, whose position is funded by the pilot program said it was about housing first – but also, support.
“It’s about working with real estate and property managers and others involved in housing and community services across the region to help people find private rental housing and importantly, sustain it,” Jodie explains.
“Through the program we were able to assist Stephen to gain and move into his new rental, but that was really the beginning.
“From there it was helping Stephen to fit out his home so he had the things he needed to cook, clean and live with both dignity and independence.”
Jodie also assisted Stephen to access much needed dental services to improve his health and wellbeing.
Since then, Stephen’s confidence and self-esteem has increased and he’s now sporting a beaming smile too.
“I work out in my gym at home and walk many kilometres every day which is really good for me,” Stephen said.
Stephen is a Volunteer at a local Community Centre delivering Emergency Relief to those in need and also volunteers with Relationships Australia mentoring young people experiencing addictions or challenges within their lives.
Staying Home in the Fleurieu is funded through The Wyatt Trust and the Fleurieu Community Foundation.
For Bruce, some recent maintenance upgrades at his Plympton property has meant more to him than home improvements. It’s been a fresh start.
“In 2019, my marriage broke down then I was made redundant – it was a very hard time,” the 53-year-old explains.
“Having the work done on the house, new ceilings and internal painting, was like a clean slate. Soon after, I got a new job and from there things started to fall back into place."
“I’m also getting new flooring in the next few weeks too, which will really complete things.”
Bruce said the housing upgrades to his property were just part of the support he had received from Junction over the past 18 months.
“When my marriage ended I was really worried I’d lose my house but Cassa (Housing Manager) was so supportive. She sat down with me and showed me where I could access concessions to help with electricity and utility payments to help manage things. Then with the housing work, Brett (Project Maintenance officer) has been so hands-on. They’ve both been very understanding.
“I’m so house-proud now.”
Giving back is simply a way of life for Junction volunteer Emily.
Emily, who has been volunteering at the Seaford Meadows Nature Play Group since late 2020, says community spirit ‘runs in the family’.
“My grandparents, who are now in their 80s, were council volunteers until recently. They helped with events, and with transport for the elderly – shopping and errands, things like that,” Emily said. “My parents were also always volunteering around my school, so I guess I got it from them.”
Despite already balancing university studies, a part time job and a university placement, Emily is constantly finding other ways to get involved.
“I’ve always been inspired by the work that Junction does, so I knew I wanted to volunteer somewhere in the organisation,” she said. “Nature Play just seemed right for me.”
Currently a third-year psychology student at Flinders University, Nature Play has since introduced her to a world of children’s psychology.
“I find it interesting how much playing in nature can help children develop mentally – whether that be resilience, fine motor skills or just sparking their imagination,” she said. “When I was younger, I played on playgrounds with bark chips – but these days, it’s all rubber flooring. Nature Play teaches them it’s ok to play with sticks and dirt.”
Emily is also undertaking a placement at Military and Emergency Services Health Australia (MESHA) – a research institute focusing on the mental health and wellbeing of current and former military members, emergency service personnel and their families.
“I’m part of a research project focused on treatments and interventions for personnel with PTSD, and whether these treatments help improve their ability to leave the house, go to the shops, pick up their kids from school etc.” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to learn as much as I can – and then to apply it to other situations too.”
She hopes to eventually use what she’s learned to create impact in lives and communities.
“I love doing whatever I can to improve the lives of others, even if it’s just a small part,” she said. “It’s about being involved in something bigger.”