The Story of How 81 Year Old “Peter” Found a Home

Written By Dani Allen, Domestic Violence & Mental Health Case Manager, Community Northern Beaches

“I received a call from a Social Worker at Northern Beaches Hospital on 30 June in relation to an 81 year old male who had presented to Emergency the night before with a knee injury. Upon further investigation by the Social Worker, the patient disclosed he had been living in his car on the Northern Beaches since October 2019. I agreed to support the patient to secure urgent accommodation as he was in the process of being discharged.

The male who I will refer to as Peter* presented to CNB to meet with me that afternoon. I engaged with the local housing office and secured Peter emergency accommodation in Manly. At first, Peter was reluctant to accept this accommodation as he did not think he was worthy and believed there were others more deserving. After reassuring Peter that he was most definitely worthy of a safe place to sleep, he agreed to work with me to apply for over 55’s priority housing. We completed the paperwork which I submitted the following week. I continued to advocate with the local housing office to extend the emergency housing to ensure his safety.

On Monday (20 July) I received the good news that Peter had been approved for priority housing. On Tuesday (21 July) Peter was asked to view a property offer on the Northern Beaches along with 4 other potential tenants. I accompanied Peter to the viewing for support, he was thrilled with the property and accepted the offer. It was then up to housing to make their decision, I advocated strongly on Peter’s behalf due to his age and vulnerability.

On Wednesday morning (22 July) I received a call from the housing office confirming Peter had been allocated the property with a potential move in date of 24 July. Absolutely brilliant news. Peter is thrilled to have a safe place to call home.

An 81 year old grandfather deserves nothing less than the dignity of a safe place to live. Amazing outcomes like this don’t happen every day so it truly reinforces why I love the work I do supporting vulnerable people in our community. “

Dani Allen, Domestic Violence & Mental Health Case Manager

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