Recognising skills and talent

“It’s a really beautiful thing to feel empowered to make my own choices”.

Melissa Lockley is embracing life. She says after years trapped in a trauma loop, she is changing her story.

Melissa is an artist and lives at Goulburn Street which provides affordable long term supported accommodation and is managed by Anglicare.

“The three amigos are amazing. That’s what I call Anglicare’s brilliant staff. They promote self-empowerment,” said Melissa. “With their support the tenants learn to take responsibility for our choices. That is the first step towards healing – to be able to navigate life ourselves”.

“The feeling of having a secure tenancy has meant people have been able to deal with the other things in their lives, as well as having time to flourish and create,” she said.

People living at Goulburn Street are encouraged to help plan activities and participate in regular tenant meetings.

“People are enthusiastic about attending these meetings. They come up with positive ideas. Together we work on proposals,” said Melissa.

For example, she said tenants had decided to take on responsibility for cleaning the communal areas of the facility and had participated in training to develop their skills.

“People were taught how to create a beautiful home for themselves and with this came a sense of safety,” said Melissa.

Anglicare recognises the skills and talents of tenants, and supports their ability to make their own informed choices.

“We focus on who our tenants really are,” said Michael Parkinson from Anglicare’s Supported Residential Services. “We have discovered they are the most incredible, strong and resilient people”.

There are two art spaces at Goulburn Street and tenants are welcome to use these areas. Melissa and other tenants recently showcased their art pieces at an exhibition in Hobart’s city centre.

“The idea was for those attending to enjoy the art and walk away with a hint of an awareness of homelessness,” said Michael.

Along with self-empowerment the tenants at Goulburn Street are also encouraged to take responsibility for their wellbeing. The tenants regularly enjoy nature walks and shopping for healthy produce.

Anglicare has noticed a significant change in tenants’ food choices, with people eager to eat fresh fruit and vegetables rather than sugar-laden foods.

To find out more about Anglicare’s supported accommodation options visit Housing Support

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