Support helps Stephen keep his home
- 13 September 2021 11:59AM
Thanks to Wesley Mission Queensland (WMQ), Stephen is saving hundreds of dollars on his electricity bill and has retained his tenancy, after a broken hot water system left him in rent arrears.
“For me living on my own, my power bill was around $600 a quarter,” Stephen said.
“You can’t pay that on a disability pension, and that’s when I got a little bit behind with my rent.”
Stephen lives with anxiety and sometimes finds it challenging to talk with real estate agents.
Fortunately, WMQ’s Supporting Those at Risk of Homelessness program (STARH), funded by the Queensland Government, could help.
The program assists those experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness to find and sustain stable accommodation, build community connections and develop life skills.
Woody, a case worker at WMQ, worked with Stephen to help him reduce his power bill so he could continue to pay his rent and remain in his home.
“The water cylinder had blown, so that was causing high power usage, along with the continual use of the air-conditioning unit,” Woody said.
“We provided Stephen with a pedestal fan to use instead of the air conditioning and organised for the water cylinder to be replaced.
“We helped Stephen access a HEEAS grant to help him pay that power bill, and also provided financial assistance to address his rent arrears.”
HEEAS – Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme – is one-off emergency assistance from the Queensland Government to help people pay their home energy bill.
“Wesley spoke to the agent on my behalf,” Stephen said.
“They were really helpful, and so was the real estate agent and the owner who rents the place.”
“I caught up with my rent, and now it comes out of my [Centrelink] pay which is good.”
There was more good news for Stephen when his latest quarter bill came in at $331 – 41 per cent less than his last one.
Thanks to support of WMQ, Stephen can now focus on his hobbies – baking, walking and following his favourite team, the Liverpool Football Club.
“What it means to me, reaching out to Wesley Mission, is they’re there to help,” said Stephen.
“If it wasn’t for Wesley Mission, I’d be out on the street.”
“For me to [keep] that unit, it’s security.”
I used to be a baker but I’m on a disability pension.
Wesley Mission helped me find that unit.
I’m really happy that they did help me.
Got behind on my rent and then Wesley Mission came in and helped me.
[Without] Wesley Mission, I’d be out on the street.
Well, what it means to me reaching out to Wesley Mission, is they’re there to help.
We helped Stephen to address his rent arrears, we helped Stephen with a tenancy maintenance charge, and we also supported Stephen around his power bill and his power bill statement.
So, as a result, he’s doing really well.
I like hobbies. I like walking, cooking, I love the NRL, I love watching soccer, I’m a mad Liverpool supporter and eventually I will enjoy life to fullest, like you know, that’s how I do it, you know.