The severity and persistence of the current housing crisis has irrevocably changed the face of homelessness in Brisbane. Combined with the similarly rising cost of living and widespread health challenges arising from the pandemic years, so many people are experiencing unprecedented impacts upon their overall quality of life and their ability to build independent, empowered lives.  

One such person who was thrust into homelessness through a series of unexpected and distressing circumstances was Marilyn, a recent HART4000 participant. Marilyn is a young woman who developed a chronic neurological disorder in 2021 after contracting COVID-19, and this turned her world upside down. She was forced to leave her tertiary studies, and being unable to access employment due to her health issues, Marilyn began experiencing homelessness for the first time in her life.  

When Marilyn presented to HART4000 in December 2023, she was at her lowest point; even the Disability Support Pension she had secured couldn’t come close to covering the cost of her rent. Marilyn’s rental situation was made even more precarious due to her landlord subjecting her to abusive behaviour, refusing to offer her a secure lease and denying her keys to access her property. Marilyn was out of options and had nowhere else to turn. 

The HART4000 team quickly determined Marilyn to be a high-risk participant and collaborated with the Department of Housing to secure suitable and safe housing for her. HART4000 deployed the Mobile Support team to provide outreach support to Marilyn, due to her high level of vulnerability and the mobility issues she had developed through her health conditions.  

After the multiple crisis accommodation options HART4000 referred to were declined due to lack of capacity, Marilyn’s health began to deteriorate further. Financial hardship had forced Marilyn to ration her medication, so HART4000 assisted her to access emergency relief, which ensured she could afford her medication, food and other basic necessities. The team also linked her with additional inclusive support services and helped her to secure a NDIS support package.  

HART4000 obtained a viewing of a community housing unit provided by Brisbane Housing Company (BHC), which they supported Marilyn to attend while accessing Rent Connect. The team were delighted that this successfully resulted in BHC making a formal offer of the property tenancy to Marilyn. HART4000 then provided mobile support to help Marilyn apply for a bond loan, sign the lease, furnish the unit, and move into her new home.  

Marilyn is now settled in social housing that is secure, safe and sustainable, and with the additional approval of her NDIS package, she is now receiving the care she needs as well as gaining back autonomy in her own day-to-day life. Through delivering all the right supports at a crucial time, the HART4000 team didn’t just find a safe place for Marilyn to live. They also connected her with the tools to manage her health, improve her wellbeing and begin truly living again. 

Are you, or someone you know, experiencing homelessness for the first time? Are you experiencing housing instability and are unsure of your options to access safe housing? HART4000 assists people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, and we may be able to help you. Call us on (07) 3004 0100 to speak to us about your needs.