Where the heart is

Home is where the heart is

Where the heart is

“Come on in. Would you like a cup of tea?” asks Helen. Amongst her beautiful vintage furniture in a cozy setting, Helen and her son Nathan chat like we’ve all been friends forever.

Helen and Nathan live in a Uniting Independent Living home, through the national affordability rentability scheme. Just 18 months ago Helen’s reality was quite different.

“I was living in a shed on a cane field for nine years,” she says. “It wasn’t sanitary,” adds Nathan. “There were rats everywhere, eating through mum’s boxes, clothes and everything.”

Helen lived in an isolated leaky shed, 11km away from Woodburn, northern New South Wales. She had issues with mould and hygiene in the shed. Nathan couldn’t bear to see his mother live that way and started making enquiries into affordable rent available in the area. “We spoke to a woman named Katherine,” said Nathan.

Helen said, “Katherine is in Sydney and she called us when we were on our way to visit family in Brisbane. She called to say we had a home to move into. I was crying! I couldn’t believe it. It was like we’d won lotto.”

Helen keeps a beautiful home, it’s a welcoming lovely place that reflects both Helen and Nathan’s warmth. They have made every effort to get to know their neighbours and forge new friendships.

Nathan who is 39, makes life easier for the older residents living nearby. He takes the bins out and brings them in for everyone.

Helen used to work at Uniting Narla Village in Newcastle over 15 years ago. “Isn’t it funny now it’s Uniting helping me with my home,” she says thoughtfully.

Helen and Nathan are overwhelmed with gratitude. They didn’t want to bring many of their old possessions to their new home and have gradually collected furniture and furnished the home beautifully.

What they did bring with them was a determination to make the most of this opportunity and a beautiful supportive relationship with each other. Helen and Nathan have taken this move to start fresh. They have even started having social barbecues with the neighbours!

To find out more about retirement living options with Uniting, call us on 1800 864 846 (1800 UNITING) or email ask@uniting.org

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