Home makes the heart happy


If you were to meet Tom* in the street today, he might tip his hat as he passes you by.

You might see him smiling as he strolls on his way to the shops. Or maybe he’d be deep in conversation with a neighbour over the fence.

It’d probably never occur to you that only one short year ago, Tom was homeless.

When Tom first came to HICCI in 2014, he didn’t know where he would sleep from one night to the next.

“I’d been offered a spot at an accommodation centre, however just didn’t feel safe due to the number of ICE users staying there, so I left.

“I started sleeping on peoples’ couches – or wherever I could.”

At his request, HICCI provided Tom with a swag for when he needed to sleep outside. Tom was quite happy with this arrangement and so it was only last year that he returned to HICCI in need of further support.

“I just couldn’t cope with life anymore. All the moving around meant that I kept losing my paperwork, ID and bank card.

“I couldn’t access my bank account to get my Centrelink payment and wasn’t eating properly,” Tom reflects.

HICCI often works with other services to help clients who have complex needs. For example, they may link a client in with drug and alcohol or housing services – whilst continuing to assist with material aid. This continuity of care helps clients feel supported and to maintain basic living standards whilst addressing other issues they may be experiencing.

Tom gave permission for HICCI to contact a local accommodation provider to see whether they might have a vacant room for him – and they did.

Tom was successful in getting the room and HICCI helped him set it up with bedding, kitchen items and other furniture.

HICCI also helped Tom to get his ID and paperwork sorted, making it possible for him to access other services and his Centrelink payments.

“I’m just so happy to have a place of my own where I am safe and have all my belongings with me.

“I’m making new friends where I live now and life is looking up. Life is much more stable and so much better,” Tom smiles.

*Name changed for privacy.