Advocating for Craig

January 15, 2024

Craig was homeless. He had a history of incarceration, mental illness and substance misuse when he was referred to CatholicCare. Now, he has a place to call home, a range of supports to help him get back on track, and hope for a better future. 

“CatholicCare really helped me a lot.They got me into a one bedroom apartment and helped me with my mental health appointments and court matters,” he says.

CatholicCare Specialist Homelessness Caseworker for the Together Home Program, Stephany says Craig was referred to CatholicCare after enduring years of homelessness and being exited from many support services and accommodation providers. 

“When we first met Craig, it was important to build a trusting, supportive, hope giving relationship,” she says. “We supported him to complete the documentation required for social housing and advocated alongside him, resulting in his approval for priority housing and approval for the Together Home Program.” 

While Craig was waiting on his Together Home property, he lived in one of our transitional properties. “During that time, Craig became unwell and was admitted to hospital. We visited him and helped him with brokerage for small items that he needed. We also attended mental health tribunals and worked with the social worker and registrars at the hospital to ensure the best outcome for him,” Stephany says. 

Craig continues to engage with mental health services, and we support him with attending appointments and other supports. Apart from the services CatholicCare provides Craig, we also link him with other services in the community including a local GP, and he receives counselling support for substance misuse.

“Craig has been linked in with Homeless Persons’ Legal Service for pending charges and court appearances. We attend court with him” Stephany says. “He has also been supported to apply for a birth certificate and has applied for a concession travel card. And he is now talking with his family, who have recently called to say how proud of him they are.” 

The future is looking brighter for Craig, who is keen to study or work and has been connected with the Opportunities Pathways program.

“We meet with Craig one to two times per week and often via the phone to work towards empowering him to achieve his goals,” Stephany says. And now that he’s moved into his new home, the support will continue. 

As part of the Together Home Program, he will continue to receive wraparound support for the next two years to help him maintain his tenancy and live a life of fulfilment.

Craig says that knowing he is supported and accompanied to mental health and court appointments has made a big difference. “It’s awesome to have that support and not have to try to do it on my own. CatholicCare have helped me out a lot and I really appreciate it. Without them, I’d still be homeless but now I’ve got hope for a better future,” he says. 

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