ARGIRI: I value my unit in Moonee Ponds greatly, it saved me and the unit feels like ‘home’ and I can now manage day to day. I would like to thank all who welcomed me with kindness, especially Fiona, Tracy, Heather, Mary, Tim, Judy, Paris, Mea, and Peter Sibly and many others.

I’m a shy person but I felt the warmth of being welcomed at the meetings. It means a lot to me and Michael being part of United Housing Co-operative (UHC), working alongside like-minded people improving your life and living accommodation, caring people working for better strategies.

UHC is helping me cope in a complex fast moving world and gave me a break from years of trauma and also saved me from conflict and abuse in my previous neighbourhood. I am in a better place. The unit is safe and affordable and I like living here very much.

Michael: Three weeks ago Argiri and I celebrated our 1st anniversary as members of UHC. It was a cold, rainy winter’s night mid-June 2019 when the removalists pulled up outside our newly renovated unit in Moonee Ponds. The move went without a hitch; I saw a complete transformation in Argiri from being a depressed chronic schizophrenic to a joyous relieved person. UHC had helped to lift a huge burden from her shoulders. After a year Argiri is able to go out by herself and negotiate public transport and shopping.

Argiri spent 25 years living in a dump, and 20 years prior to that living on US food stamps in a trailer (on the wrong side of the track) in Hamtramck, Detroit, Michigan.

The Co-op is much more than providing “Quality, Affordable Housing” and has been much more than a housing agency. The Staff, Directors, and General Manager have provided us with a resource for help and socialising with like-minded people.

Argiri has enjoyed the Co-op Social Club Crafternoons and encourages more members to join in to share skills and ideas. Remember it’s the tenant/members who run the Coop in a democratic way.

“I am in a better place.”