Homeless Week 2017: Claire shares her story

ON THE RIGHT PATH: Highlander Claire Gorring said Pathways helped her and her children get to where she is today. Photo: Madeline Crittenden.

ON THE RIGHT PATH: Highlander Claire Gorring said Pathways helped her and her children get to where she is today. Photo: Madeline Crittenden.

Claire Gorring is a mother of two who has worked hard to move into her own rental property in New Berrima. 

In September 2015, Claire suffered a marriage breakdown and had nowhere to go. 

“I had two children and I had no idea where I was going to go or what I was going to do,” she said. 

First she went to Argyle housing and was told there was a two year wait on transitional or emergency accommodation. 

Then she found out about Pathways. 

Pathways is a St Vincent de Paul run program for single women and women with children who are homeless or are at risk of being homeless.

Within about a week Claire and her two children were put into transitional housing in Moss Vale. 

“It was a lovely, clean three bedroom home and we had some really lovely neighbours,” Claire said. 

Claire was also visited by caseworkers every week. 

“They would see how I was going mentally and make sure I was okay, as well as see how I was going looking for a place to live,” she said. 

Looking for work was tough for Claire, who has a son with a physical disability, who she needs to be with outside of school hours. 

“The Pathways ladies were lovely. They didn’t push me to try and do work that wouldn’t fit in with my son’s activities,” she said. 

Pathways also ensured Claire and her children’s quality of life was maintained throughout this difficult period. 

At Christmas the family was supplied with Christmas hampers and presents for the children. 

“Little things like that made it so much easier for me,” Claire said. 

Claire began her own domestic cleaning business and was able to work her way out of transitional accommodation and into her own rental home earlier this year. 

“It was a great feeling, especially because I worked so hard to do it for myself,” Claire said. 

“To find a property within my budget was extremely hard and the caseworkers were all very helpful and supportive.”

Claire said her life would be very different without the help of Pathways. 

“I don’t know where I would have been without them,” she said. 

“I’m extremely grateful.”

Homeless Week runs from August 7-13 and  raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness and the issues these people face.

Homeless Week 2017 aimed to highlight the effective approach specialist homelessness services continue to implement to respond to homelessness.

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