From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

From bugs to hugs – life is looking up

“She always wants to hug you! She hugs you 10 times in 10 minutes!” exclaims Broken Hill Local Area Coordinator Angela Turner, speaking of her National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant Marg.

Marg often drops by the Social Futures Office in Broken Hill for a social visit. She loves a chat. “I know all about her family and the goings on for Marg,” Angela says.

Marg (58) and her husband Tex (65) are long-time residents of Broken Hill. Marg has NDIS funding and supports in place to help with intellectual disabilities and hearing impairment.



Up until recently Marg and Tex were renting a house which was so decrepit, it had been condemned. They were there for more than 10 years. There was no air conditioning, it was poorly kept and it was making Marg ill.

“One day she came in crying,” recalls Angela. “Her son had had a child but he refused to bring him to the house to see her.

“Marg lifted her skirt and showed me her legs. She was covered in bites. You could see the sores on her. At night things were crawling all over her. I organised for a cleaner to go out but the quote was colossal, it was such a hideous mess. Marg begged us for help to find somewhere new.

“I had a chat with the agent and told them we included house and yard maintenance supports in Marg’s NDIS plan, and this is what got them over the line in the end. If they didn’t have the NDIS, they wouldn’t have gotten the property.”

The day the real estate agent told Marg and Tex they had a house, they were over the moon. They were at the agent’s office before noon for the 2.30pm viewing.

Their new home is in a nice part of town, close to the CBD, with easy access to transport, and it has air conditioning. All just in the nick of time for summer and for a family Christmas.

“I don’t think they ever thought they would get out of the house they were in.,” Angela says.

“Now they have a much happier and healthier standard of living.”

“We are just so excited to have a real home. It has a bath! And air conditioning! And a new stove! We couldn’t have done this without the help from the NDIS. We couldn’t be happier,” exclaims Marg.

Marg and Tex’s new home is having a few little touches made before they move in in the New Year. With funding from the NDIS the front access to the property will be widened to accommodate their scooter and bath feet are being added to help with safe entry to the bath.

When Marg first accessed the NDIS through Social Futures, she couldn’t hear. Her LAC made an appointment for her to have her ear drained and then to obtain a hearing aid. “She came in all excited because she could hear!” Angela says.

The future is looking so much brighter for Marg and Tex. Angela is now helping Marg to pursue a volunteer role at an Op Shop in the New Year.

“They’ve come a long way. And they’re happy. They are over the moon. Marg is so appreciative of the NDIS and so excited about her new home and her new life.”





“We are just so excited to have a real home. It has a bath! And air conditioning! And a new stove! We couldn’t have done this without the help from the NDIS. We couldn’t be happier.”


NDIS Participant

Using her NDIS plan

Marg’s NDIS supports have helped her:

  • achieve safe and comfortable housing
  • improve both her and her husband’s general health
  • improve her hearing and quality of life through a hearing aid
  • increase confidence and social connection through visits and experience at the Op Shop
  • improve access to family and social connections

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

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Gold Coast Homelessness Symposium looking at ageing population issues

The Gold Coast Homelessness Symposium will be held on Wednesday 7 November, with the topic of focus on Housing, Homelessness and Support for an Ageing Population.

The symposium aims to:

  • explore the rise in seniors seeking homelessness support nationally & what that means for the Gold Coast Region,
  • highlight successes and challenges for services in integrated service delivery;
  • present models of housing targeted for seniors; and
  • provide networking opportunities with a range of stakeholders.

Date: Wednesday 7th November 2018
Time: 8:30 am – 3.15 pm (morning tea, & lunch will be provided)
Venue: City Link Resource Centre (formerly Genesis Ministries)
Address: 148 Eastlake Street, Carrara QLD 4211.

Head to Eventbrite for tickets.

Post expires at 6:17pm on Wednesday November 7th, 2018

Tweed Shire Council draft Homelessness Policy now on public exhibition

Following the review of its first homelessness policy, Tweed Shire Council has incorporated the learnings and now developed a new draft Homelessness Policy (version 2.0). Feedback is open until 13 November 2018.

Future work council will be doing includes developing a Community Development Strategy which will incorporate actions across a range of social issues.

The new draft policy; review snapshot and review executive summary can be found via the link below.

The council values your feedback and welcomes submissions up to 13 November 2018 in writing, via email to [email protected] or via the submission link found here:



Post expires at 11:55am on Tuesday November 13th, 2018

Homelessness Awareness Week

Homelessness Awareness Week

Social Futures is the largest provider of Specialist Homelessness Services on the North Coast of NSW. We work with partners to provide a ‘no wrong door’ approach, so that anyone who needs help is supported. Sadly, more than 3,000 people access our Connecting Home service each year and almost a third of them are aged 16-24.

According to peak body Homelessness Australia :

  • The 2016 Census found that there were 116,000 Australians experiencing homelessness on Census night.
  • Two in every five homeless people are under the age of 25.
  • On any given night in Australia, 1 in 200 people are homeless/
  • The main causes of homelessness are poverty, unaffordable rents, and family violence/
  • Only 7% of those who were homeless on Census night were sleeping rough. The vast majority of homelessness is hidden people in crisis accommodation, rooming houses, caravan parks or overcrowded dwellings.
  • In 2016-2017, over 288,000 Australians sought assistance from Specialist Homelessness Services.

This year, Social Futures is supporting OTCP to present Homeless Connect Events in Lismore and Casino, providing lunch, haircuts, new clothes and emergency supplies to help the people in our communities facing homelessness this winter.

Homelessness Australia’s Everybody’s Home campaign aims to bring about an end to homelessness in Australia by 2030.

Lismore Council Supporting Shop-top Living

Lismore City Council is calling for more landowners in the CBD to think about shop-top housing as a way to help diversify accommodation options in the city.

Deborah Ray, the owner of Music Bizarre, was one of the first people to take advantage of subsidies and support Council provided to encourage more shop-top housing in early 2016.

Deborah had put the plans on hold due to other commitments, and then the March 2017 flood hit. Instead of letting it slow her down, Deborah decided having a secure income would make her more flood resilient and got the renovations back on track.

This week her new one- and two-bedroom units are ready to hit the rental market, while above Music Bizarre she is putting the finishing touches to a new vinyl lounge and flood-free storage area.

The Lismore Housing Strategy identified CBD housing was integral to increase housing options in the city, and in 2015 Council brought together a focus group to look at barriers and issues related to shop-top housing.

As a result of feedback, Council resolved to waive Section 94 and 64 fees and on-site carparking for shop-top housing (subject to conditions) and to work closely with property owners to help them meet the necessary fire regulations, which can be complicated and costly.

“CBD shop-top housing is a great way to ensure we have smaller types of accommodation to cater for singles and couples, which is a growing demographic. The three-bedroom home is often not a model that suits the way people are living in the 21st century,” Council’s Strategic Planning Coordinator Paula Newman said.

“We know that shop-top housing will be a huge driver in revitalising our CBD and bringing life into our city. All cities should have people living in the heart of the retail precinct and it’s something we are very keen to progress. We are thrilled to see Deborah’s renovations completed and approved, and the result is fantastic. We hope to see many others follow her example and encourage people to contact Council if they are keen to investigate shop-top housing options.”

Anyone interested in pursuing shop-top housing should phone Council’s Economic Development Manager Tina Irish on 6625 0458.

Post expires at 11:29am on Sunday September 16th, 2018

Join the special 30 Years of Sleepout Celebration

On a cold winter’s night in 1988, a small but passionate group of Mission Australia (then known as Sydney City Mission) staff huddled together in the Sydney CBD for the first ever Sleepout.

Their goal was to raise awareness about Australia’s growing homelessness problem, and raise funds to support children, adults and families who didn’t have a safe place to rest their heads.

They could never have dreamed that in 2018 Mission Australia would be celebrating 30 years of the Sleepout, after raising more than $3 million and helping over five million disadvantaged Australians since that night.

Join the special 30 Years of Sleepout celebration. This is your chance to continue the tradition started by those pioneering social justice warriors three decades ago, and support the vital work Mission Australia has been doing with Australians in need for more than 155 years.

The Sleepout encourages people across the country to get sponsored for spending a night somewhere that isn’t their usual sleeping place, such as a classroom or office, school or church hall, or outside.

Hosting a Sleepout is a great way for you to make a positive impact in the community by raising awareness and critically needed funds for vital homelessness services

Want to get involved but don’t want to sleep out? No worries! Why not host a 1988-themed party, collect a gold coin donation, hold a morning tea, or come up with a creative idea of your own?

RSVP today for the 30 Years of Sleepout celebrations to access all the resources you need. For more information, please call Georgia Carter on (02) 9217 1074 or email [email protected].


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