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Greg’s story: turning his life around

24 October 2019 Stories of hope

Greg

Greg’s daughter means everything to him. She’s the reason why Greg ‘got his life back together’.

But it’s not just his words that reveal this, it’s the collection of his daughter’s artwork he’s safeguarded during his years living on Sydney’s streets. He proudly shows off a recent drawing his daughter created. It was his birthday gift.

Almost a decade ago, Greg’s life spiralled out of control after becoming addicted to ice. After he dislocated his shoulder and was unable to continue working as a barista, his finances became strained. A relationship breakup sent this 47-year-old father of one to the streets. His daughter was two at the time.

Greg’s determination to turn his life around was motivated by his daughter. It was her belief in him that kept him going and he cherished those moments when his daughter came to visit.

“She’s all I wanted. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have cared,” he said. “She knew that I could get through it. She said, ‘It’s alright daddy, I know you’re tough, you’ll get through it’.”

And she was right. Greg started to believe in himself. He no longer wanted the life he was currently living and went looking for Jess—a Wesley Mission caseworker he’d heard about from a friend. It was the turning point that changed his life.

Jess is part of the Wesley Specialist Homelessness Services team that supports individuals like Greg who are experiencing homelessness. After meeting Jess, Greg spent two weeks at Wesley Edward Eagar Lodge in crisis accommodation.

The team from Wesley Specialist Homelessness Services put a plan into action to help Greg transition out of homelessness. They helped him obtain identification, access Centrelink benefits and Medicare, and they provided him transitional housing in partnership with Wesley Community Housing.

Thanks to Wesley Community Housing, Greg has a one-bedroom unit in inner-west Sydney that he calls home. Most importantly, he has a safe place where his daughter can visit.

“Having my daughter here has been an integral part of making this place a home,” he said smiling.

Jess said it has been good to watch Greg start to achieve his goals. “One of Greg’s biggest goals was to have somewhere where his daughter could stay.”

Greg added: “I couldn’t have done it without Wesley Mission and I couldn’t have done it without Jess.”