COVID-19: Homeless Hub is a blessing for Terry
- 3 June 2020 1:57PM
Terry has been homeless on and off for years, for many reasons.
“I got into places with the wrong kind of people. I fell for too many hard luck stories. In the past I’ve had drug issues, and now I’m fully recovered. It’s been a very tough road.”
Terry describes his homelessness as ‘hardcore’.
“I was sleeping in gutters, on park benches, near the rivers,” he says. “Being a homeless person, the one thing you realise very quickly is just how vulnerable you are – you can die any day,” he says.
When COVID-19 started affecting Queensland, Terry says things changed rapidly for the better.
“To a homeless person, COVID-19 was a blessing because it allowed us to come to the Hub.”
Terry found help at 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.
IFYS set Terry up with temporary accommodation and linked him to support services.
“I had to get used to being safe at night. Without a roof or a comfortable bed to live on for over a year, when you first get that roof it’s so unfamiliar,” he says.
After working with the department, Terry is now living in a public housing property, and has stability so he can make plans for his future.
“For me to find a place to live, a really nice place to live, it allows me to get on with my life,” he says.
He hopes to finish his study to become a counsellor and get his pilot license.
“But this all pales in comparison to seeing my little girl. That’s priority one at the moment.”
After so long of not knowing where he was going to live, it has taken Terry a while to adjust to having a more permanent place to stay.
“To be honest, it hasn’t sunk in yet. There are times when I’d wake up, and I’m planning, ok what do I do when this falls through, what next. I’ve got to get it through my mind that I’ve got a 3-year lease on the place.”
“I don’t know what to say except thank you, and hallelujah.”
The Homelessness Hub at the Sunshine Coast Stadium is open 10am to 3pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.