The 34-year-old worker at Bedford HiCity in Melbourne’s north-east, was forced to leave the caravan she’d privately lived in for many years at the back of a relative’s property.
“One Saturday I just got kicked out of home. I went and stayed with a friend for a couple of days but… I didn’t know what to do,” Kylie says.
Like many of us facing hardship, Kylie didn’t want to burden her friends and colleagues with her problem and kept quiet while she was on the road collecting and sorting recycled clothes from charity bins across Melbourne.
However, it soon became obvious to employment and training manager Lynne and the Bedford team that something was wrong.
Eventually, Kylie opened up about her problem. As Bedford HiCity provides both employment and accommodation opportunities to people with disability, staff were able to find a temporary housing solution in one of their share homes.
“They said I could have a two-week trial at the house I’m living in. It has a TV and my own room!” she says.
Those two weeks of supported accommodation turned into several months while Kylie’s NDIS plan was revised to take into account her living needs.
During that time, Bedford HiCity implemented a broad range of programs and services to help Kylie get back on track – and she’s even enjoying a busier social life.
“I do a lot of activities with the girls I live with,” she says. “Tuesday night I go to dancing, Wednesdays I play netball - sometimes I’m wing defence. I also peel potatoes and help the support workers in the kitchen.”
“She’s missed out on so many things for so many years,” Lynne adds. “I’d really like Kylie to have the funding for accommodation so that she can stay with Bedford housing and further develop her skills at work.”
Kylie’s dream is to go on her first interstate or overseas holiday. But for now, judging by her smile and infectious laugh, Kylie is the happiest she has been in many years.
“I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m just learning how to have responsibility and doing things for myself. I’m happier,” she says.
Bedford HiCity at Bellfield provides supported accommodation and employment in packaging, landscaping and horticulture and collection services for Southern Cross Recycling.
Clients include San Churro, Melbourne Airport, Hanson Landfill and a variety of schools. For more information or to find out how your business can get involved, contact the team on (03) 9497 3555.