Freya and Levi are a young couple from Launceston who earlier this year discovered they were expecting a baby.
“The pregnancy was a big surprise,” says 19-year-old Freya. “When I heard the news, I was excited but extremely scared.”
With a baby on the way, Freya and Levi soon realised their current living situation was not suitable to raise a child. They were living in a house owned by Freya’s grandparents.
Levi described the house as ‘over-populated,’ with Freya’s mother, sister, her sister’s boyfriend, and a family friend all living under the one roof. Plus, there was another family friend living in a car on the front lawn of the property. Her grandparents were also planning to move back in.
“There were always people coming and going. We would have to padlock our bedroom door to stop people from going into our room and touching our belongings,” he said.
“When we explained our living situation to (Uniting support worker) Lisa, she told us that it wasn’t a suitable environment to raise a child and that our baby could be removed from our care. That was awful to hear,” Freya said.
Freya and Levi were starting to get desperate.
Lisa quickly took the initiative and arranged an appointment with Housing Tasmania and went along with Freya and Levi to advocate on their behalf.
The young expectant parents were then referred to a short-term crisis accommodation facility in Launceston, called Karinya. But the news was not good.
“We were told it could take up to 12 months to find somewhere for us to live,” Freya said. Fortunately for the expectant parents, a suitable place became available within weeks of Lisa applying on their behalf.
Freya and Levi secured a two-bedroom unit that’s just right for their new family situation.
With their housing issues behind them, Levi and Freya could focus on preparing for the arrival of their baby.
The couple attended our weekly Pregnant and Young Parent Support program led by Lisa. This program offers care to young pregnant women and parents to help them build the skills and knowledge to be the best parents possible.
“It has been a thought-provoking experience that has allowed us to think more deeply about the situation and get in touch with how we really feel about it,” Levi said. “And it is great having Lisa for moral support.”
“Knowing that we have Lisa there to talk to when we need reassurance and guidance has made the pregnancy a lot less stressful.”
When people are ready to move forward, we want to lend a helping hand. Parents at all stages, like Freya and Levi, sometimes don’t know which way to turn. We’re there, by their side, so they don’t feel weighed down by the past or overwhelmed by an unknown future.
It is only with your support that we can continue to run these important programs.