“When I’m homeless I am very frightened when its night time because I have to sleep but I cannot hear when strangers are around”. Genevieve, 33 years old.
Genevieve lives on the streets of Darwin, she is deaf and uses sign language to communicate. She doesn’t eat well, has lost contact with her family and is desperate to get into a home. She asks the general public to please give her a chance.
Leigh is Genevieve’s partner and together they survive homelessness, but it’s not easy – ever.
“I feel ashamed of myself for not being able to put a roof over my partner and son’s head and a warm bed to sleep in. And not being able to cook a good home-made meal” Leigh, 37 years old.
CAAPS are helping Genevieve and Leigh
Both Genevieve and Leigh are being supported through the Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services (CAAPS) Homelessness Outreach Service.
While CAAPS is not a Larrakia Nation program, it does work closely with Larrakia Nation’s Arts in the Grass program: a weekly BBQ at Mindil Beach where homeless people spend time doing art and connecting to outreach services.
We need to understand the impact of not having a home
Maria Corbett, a Homelessness Outreach Worker with CAAPS hopes that through Genevieve’s and Leigh’s story, the general community can get a better understanding of the impact of having no home. “It’s important to get a personal story of homelessness out into the community” she says.
Genevieve and Leigh’s story is a powerful reminder of how hard it is to get out of the cycle of homelessness, even though both of them desperately want to find a home and start a better life.
Homelessness Outreach helps people to engage with the system
The Homelessness Outreach Service is a specialist housing program run through CAAPS and is funded by the Northern Territory Government Department of Housing and Community Development.
“We make referrals for transitional housing so people can get tenancy references and maybe look to go into private rental. And where people are homeless and don’t have an active application with the department, we will help to investigate what is going on with their application. We can also organise emergency accommodation”.
If you need help
If you are homeless and need help, ring CAAPS 1800 894 800 to make a time to talk.
“We can buy you a coffee and have an informal chat about how to get the process started” says Maria.