I’ve included my story to let you know the sky is the limit with what can be achieved with the support of the Co-operative. My life would not be the way it is today without the Co-operative. I am forever grateful.

Myself and my two kids joined the United Housing Co-operative (UHC) around 2015 after we were unable to return to my family home due to family violence.

At the time, I was midway through studying a Bachelor, wrangling two kids (one with a disability) as a single parent, and had lost a big portion of my support network after the family violence. Life was so hard!

I first heard about the UHC through another similar provider. I am very social and so the Co-operative model really appealed to me.

I was about to put Uni on hold because it was just so hard juggling everything with no fixed address. When I got a call from UHC I was so very blessed to be offered a small 2 bedroom unit. It was miles away from anyone I knew, but it didn’t matter because I was now part of a Co-op! We threw ourselves into our new life, joining every meeting or event that we could attend, making friends and memories which I will cherish forever. Everyone in the Co-operative was so warm and welcoming and my stress started to immediately dissipate as I knew I was in secure accommodation that was also affordable. I was able to think again, the huge weight and the fog was gone!

Due to the stability the Co-operative provided me I didn’t have to quit Uni, I was able to continue studying. I went on to complete my Honours, and then Masters – which I could not have done without UHC. Even though it was at a part time rate and felt like it took forever, I persisted and eventually did it!

In 2021 I had completed my study and in 2022 I got a fulltime job. Co-operative duties I had performed were proudly included on my resume and helped to impress employers and helped me to get a great job.

Over 2022, even though I was employed fulltime, I lived on the same income amount as my student income, and I saved my heart out – with the goal to eventually buy a house so I could free up the house I was provided by the Co-operative for someone else in need.

And guess what?… I did it! I will be moving into my own home in September 2023. I can’t believe how things turned around, Im still pinching myself regularly to make sure it’s not a dream.

I owe it all to the Co-operative and the amazing opportunity and support I was given. UHC will be forever in my heart.

P.S. I have many amazing memories with UHC but my favourite memory of the Co-operative is the Easter Picnic at Royal Park, where another member hid the chocolate eggs from the kids in the bushes SO well the adults couldn’t find half of them despite desperately looking for way longer than we should have. Good days, good times, good memories.

Thank you UHC from the bottom of my heart.