COVID-19: A good plan B for Craig
- 1 June 2020 4:00PM
Craig relocated to Brisbane for a job in the civil construction industry.
Two months after moving, he lost his job when work dried up due to COVID-19.
“I was expecting 2 to 3 years’ worth of work,” he says. “It was a real kick in the guts. I couldn’t make payments on things, I was in debt, I still am.”
Due to financial pressures, he gave up his rental property, and ended up living in his car.
“I was ok, I had my own stove, I was making it work,” he says. “But once COVID kicked in we needed to be off the streets and had to find somewhere to stay.”
Craig sought help from the Homelessness Hub at the Sunshine Coast Sports Stadium, a one-stop shop for people in need set up by IFYS, Sunshine Coast Council and the Department of Housing and Public Works. At the Hub, people can access health services through a doctor and nurse outreach service, find a place to stay, have a meal, a shower, and get laundry done.
Craig is now living in a unit, thanks to the help he received at the Hub.
“After living in my car, having a bed to sleep on felt like luxury,” he says.
He said the level of support has been overwhelming.
“There are a lot of organisations here to help, and not just for the short term. They’ve said, ‘Don’t think you can’t contact us again, even just for a chat.’ That’s been great for me.”
When talking about the future, Craig said he is taking it one week at a time.
“When you think you’re going to be set for life, it’s not the case anymore. I’ve had three redundancies in my working life, all from big companies. I know nothing is forever.
“All the support networks have made it easier, but whether you’re young or old, it doesn’t matter, things could be going well and if you don’t have support networks, it can get bad real quick. You need to have a plan B.”
He’s taking things slowly, but he said his priority is to see family more often.
“I’m just grateful for where I am at the moment.”
The Homelessness Hub at the Sunshine Coast Stadium is open 10am to 3pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.