”“I became homeless due to unforeseen circumstances. It can happen to anyone.”
This is Renee, the acting coordinator for mental health solutions at Colony 47.
She leads a dedicated team that focuses on helping people with mental health challenges to stay in their homes, along with running the Eureka Clubhouse.
But her journey hasn’t always been smooth.
“As a professional woman with a successful career, I never expected to find myself homeless,” she said.
Due to unforeseen circumstances and domestic violence, she found herself in a desperate situation upon moving to Tasmania.
“Thankfully, Colony 47 was there to help me.
“They supported me in finding an emergency shelter and paying rent, enabling me to move into a private rental share house.”
She wants her personal experience to serve as a powerful reminder that homelessness can happen to anyone, regardless of their background or achievements.
“Unforeseen circumstances that cause homelessness can happen to anyone,” she said.
Renee has also witnessed the powerful impact of support in people’s lives at Eureka Clubhouse, Colony 47’s community house that supports people experiencing mental ill-health to live in the community.
The Clubhouse offers services to homeless people as well as those struggling with mental illness while living in the community.
“People can come in access facilities like showers, internet, laundry and participate in skill-building activities like woodworking and art,” she said.
“The sense of community at Eureka is palpable, as members encourage and support each other through their individual struggles.
“One inspiring lady, who receives support from both Colony 47 and Eureka, found solace and purpose in cooking.
“Someone else became a peer worker, offering support to fellow members through their lived experiences.
“In this supportive space, individuals uplift and inspire one another, finding solace in shared experiences that help to alleviate isolation.
“They lend a listening ear, provide mutual support and even share rides with each other to the Clubhouse, collecting people who can’t get there by themselves.”
Through initiatives like the Eureka Clubhouse, lives are changed, connections are forged, and individuals find hope, purpose and a sense of belonging.