Clarice*, a 35-year-old single mum to three boys, has always been tough and independent, but sometimes life throws you one challenge too many. 

Trying to raise three boys on just a single person’s income, it was almost impossible to find accommodation for her family that was within her budget, leaving them living in her mother’s garage while struggling with debts, bills and looking after her youngest son who suffers from cerebral palsy and developmental issues. 

“I was looking for houses and it was a mission, I’ve lost count of how many I applied for and all turned me down. I’m like ‘how much do I have to give you to let you know how bad I need a house?’ We are living in a garage, my son is sick, it’s cold and you’re still not offering me anything? Everything I did felt like a failure, I nearly gave up. But then I got a call from Monte Cecilia.”

The team at Monte Cecilia got to work looking for housing options for her and soon called her with a result, which Clarice and her sister went to look at together. When she got to the kitchen she saw there was a stack of documents on the counter, which the Monte team member said was her tenancy agreement. 

“I literally burst out crying, I had been through so much, and she was like ‘This is your house’. I was like ‘Get out of here, don’t lie to me’ and my sister came and hugged me. We were just overjoyed, I couldn’t believe the house was mine,” Clarice says.

“I asked if it was a transitional house so I’d have to look at another soon, but she said it was my house and I cried again. I’m loving it, my rent is affordable and the moment I got the keys handed to me I didn’t muck around and moved in the same day. We borrowed my uncle’s truck to bring the big stuff over.”

“The boys are loving it. Especially having their own rooms. Living in one room was hard. But this is great, it’s closer to work. I’m loving each day.”