Steph’s Story


March 21, 2024

Steph and her three kids spent 18 months experiencing homelessness, couch surfing with a friend
after she lost her family support systems.

“I used to fall back on my Nan. She was my rock, but she passed away” says Steph. “If I didn’t have a
friend to fall back on, I would have been living in my car.”

A roof over your head is not always a home.

Steph and her children experienced firsthand the challenges of couch surfing.

“Couch surfing can do damage to even the most strongest of friendships.” says Steph. “If it wasn’t for
my kids, I don’t know how I would have got through everything.”

Steph and her kids spent 18 months in a state of uncertainty, doing all they could to access stable

“I was on the emergency housing waitlist for 12 months. We never knew if we were going to get a
phone call offering us a place” says Steph.

From couch surfing to emergency accommodation. Steph was living in a state of instability

“We moved into emergency accommodation in a hotel for a short time. I was paying $800 rent a
fortnight” says Steph. “It left me and the kids with nothing.”

Over that time, Steph accessed support from her case manager, friends, and local non-for-profit

“I was grateful I had support. I got food vouchers, food hampers or petrol vouchers to help me get
by” says Steph. “We were living off other people’s donations.”

With support from Uniting, Steph and her kids moved into permanent ongoing housing six months
ago. In her Uniting Housing, Steph has access to 12 months of case management support and an
opportunity for her and her family to put down roots in the community.

“My home is my stability. Knowing that me and my kids can put down roots here and we don’t have
to worry about leaving” says Steph. “It gives me and my kids an opportunity to get connected to the

Despite the hardship Steph has faced, she remains a pillar of resilience and positivity.
“No matter what life throws at me and the kids I know we can get through it,” she says.

Note: This is a true story about a real person. The photo accompanying this story is for illustrative
purposes only. It is not a photo of the person featured in this story.

Related News