Julie’s Life Altering Day Turned Her life Upside Down
Julie had the world at her fingertips. Growing up in a comfortable middle class family, she never went without. But she was also smart and worked hard to achieve her goals. She knew exactly what she wanted and did whatever it took to succeed. Upon finishing school she had always known she wanted to see Australia. She had itchy feet and never felt settled in one place which is just one of the reasons she decided to apply for an amazing position that allowed her to relocate frequently. Passing the exam with flying colours, she was offered the job. This was the start of something great. Julie’s life was about to really start.
During her travels she fell in love with a handsome man and her life felt complete. Working, travelling and coming home to this amazing person. Life was good.
Unfortunately Julie’s relationship started to unravel as she worked away for weeks at a time. Their time together became tense and unloving, until one day it was over. Life went on but not without lifestyle setbacks and an adjustment period. Her bills started to pile up and she started drinking heavily on her days off. Never putting her job in jeopardy though as it was after all the only thing she had left. And she loved it!
Years passed and although she had completely stopped drinking and was on the right path to wellbeing once again, she couldn’t ignore the signs of her health slowly deteriorating. A visit to the doctors revealed a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. Already struggling financially, Julie was now facing additional doctors’ bills, insulin costs and medical care. Concerned with how this would impact her job she was honest and upfront with her boss. As a result of her new diagnosis the company deemed it no longer safe for her to be operating the machinery she had been for 20 years, even with consistent medical clearances. A redundancy was offered but as this was the only career she had had since leaving school, she had no experience in anything else. She job hunted and handed out resumes but to no avail. She ended up picking fruit for the season to pay rent and medical expenses but it was running out faster than it was coming in.
Julie struggled day in, day out to make ends meet. She would go fishing and search through supermarket skip bins so she could eat that day. When the fruit picking season finished up for the year and she could no longer make rent, things took a turn for the worst. Julie was left with only option – sleep in her car, rinse in public showers at the beach and continue to scavenge for food. As she lay in her car in the dead of winter trying to keep warm, praying that no one breaks in or attempts to assault her while she sleeps, she wonders how life turned out this way. How could one seemingly small medical diagnosis turn her life upside down?
Don’t let this be the end of Julie’s story.
Julie isn’t just “one” homeless woman, illness and disability are leading causes of homelessness in Australia. You can help restore dignity to those with disabilities experiencing homelessness.