Samuel grew up in social housing and has overcome many challenges. Today, the single father rents in the private market and is creating a secure, happy home life for his young family.
Samuel describes his marriage breakdown as one of the lowest points of his life. The father had to move with his three children to his parents’ home, where overcrowding forced him to look for an alternative. He was linked with Uniting’s Doorways for Men with Families program and was referred to Hume Community Housing. Two-and-a-half weeks later, he and his family moved into a Hume-managed rental home in South West Sydney.
Hume’s Housing Independence Officer Sedina worked closely with Samuel, connecting him to support services and ensuring his family’s wellbeing during their time within the program.
“Hume put me onto a few different services. We were connected to a food hamper service and at Christmas time, they told me that the local church was giving out presents for the kids. If there was ever a problem, I could always call Hume,” he said.
As part of his new community, Samuel began fixing pre-loved bikes for the neighbourhood children to use and repairing old lawn mowers so neighbours could maintain their gardens. He said, “I got all the bikes off the rubbish piles and fixed them up—every kid in our street had a bike by the end of it and they were all happy. Somebody was throwing out a lawn mower, so I fixed it and before long everybody in the street was using it. We were all getting out there, picking up the rubbish. We interacted more as a community and we became friends. Even men in the street stepped in to support one another if they needed it.”
After five months on the Housing Independence Program, and a stable rental track record, Samuel secured a private rental tenancy closer to his extended family. “With Hume’s help, I started saving for the first time in a very long while. That’s been so good knowing I have something behind me and can look after the kids if they need anything for school or just for us to go out occasionally as a family,” he said.
“Hume was incredible. They always called in to see me. They cared. Even when we were moving, they helped with the timing of my rental payments. Hume made it easier for me because they wanted me to succeed,” he said.
Now, Samuel and his children live in a comfortable private rental just streets away from his parents. He is considering his career options and is keen to get back to work, something he misses since giving up work to care for his young children.
“To be honest, I was stuffed before coming to Hume. My kids are happy and settled and we’re doing more family-oriented stuff now. Hume helped me to get my life back,” Samuel said.