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Hula skirts and kebabs

Thistle Street residents decided they wanted a fun Hawaiian-themed event to celebrate their home’s five-year anniversary.

Thistle Street staff and residents dressed for the partyOn Wednesday 15 March donning colourful leis and grass skirts, and with their friends and guests from Indigo Lodge, Rocherlea Recovery and Grove House in attendance, the residents got into the spirit of the day.

The residents catered for the event and did a marvellous job providing an abundance of food from tasty sweet and sour pork to cream-filled sponge cakes.   

“Peter [a resident] was quite a sight behind the BBQ, cooking kebabs and wearing a hula skirt,” said Vicki Eiszele, Support Worker at Thistle Street.   “And Bill from Grove House was in fine voice singing some favourite tunes while playing his guitar.” 

Thistle Street has twenty-one units that provide long-term accommodation for adults in partnership with Community Housing Limited (CHL).  CHL oversees the tenancy management of the property and Anglicare provides the on-site support. 

It is a sole-worker model where the support worker is based in the residents’ home.  “This model of support provides the worker insight into how residents are travelling on a day-to-day basis and allows for proactive case management,” said Vicki. 

“Residents enjoy the independence of living in their own units while also having support on hand when required. The sense of community is fostered by participating in group activities such as the regular cooking group and recreational activities. 

“Having secure, affordable and permanent housing that the residents can call home is a major benefit of Thistle Street, but the sense of community and friendships are what makes it a home,” said Vicki.       

“I moved to Launceston in 2009 and in February 2010 I found myself homeless. Due to my circumstances I could not return to Melbourne and I was estranged from my family,” said Peter.

“I was initially offered accommodation at Indigo Lodge. When Thistle Street opened I applied to move here and was one of the first people to move in, and that was five years ago.  This is the longest I can recall ever living in the one place,” he said.

“Since moving into Thistle Street I have made friends, gained confidence and have re-built family relationships. Anglicare has helped me in so many ways. I would not be where I am today if I had not walked through the front door of Anglicare in February 2010,” said Peter.

Peter thanked everyone for attending the Thistle Street celebration. He also thanked staff, some of the other residents who have been very supportive and all those who had contributed to making their celebration possible.

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