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Jenny: A tale of two mums

Parent and child hands.  Image courtesy pixabay.com

Jenny* (21 yo) was referred to BOOST as she was sleeping rough and was 7 months pregnant. Jenny was asked to leave her family home due to her mother finding out she was pregnant and did not approve due to the family's strong traditional values. Jenny moved from friend’s house to friend’s house and couch surfed. Jenny was referred to a rooming house by VincentCare however the conditions were very poor and Jenny opted to live in her car instead.


Through BOOST intervention, Jenny was supported for 2.5 months:

  • BOOST contacted Jenny an hour after receiving the referral from VincentCare. An appointment was then arranged at the clients’ earliest convenience which was 2 days later at a coffee shop in Campbellfield.
  • Jenny was not linked in with the health system and felt that her doctor whom she did not have a good relationship with was not providing her with the correct information. Using a multi disciplinary approach BOOST had a secondary consult with Cath, the RDNS Homeless Persons Program Nurse, who provides services during the week from the Hope Street refuge. Cath provided specialist information about birthing options and hospitals that Jenny could attend and an immediate response was provided. Three days after the assessment Jenny was booked into the Epping Hospital to have her baby and prenatal health support.
  • Strategies discussed to see if Jenny could return home for a short period of time until she was able to access longer term accommodation. This included her sister speaking to her mother and facilitating/mediating this process. This resulted in Jenny returning home on a temporary basis. However this was not a long term option as the house was severely overcrowded.
  • Together explored strategies around strengthening family relationship so that Jenny has support when the baby is born. An example is that Jenny chose to not leave the house for the first month of her baby’s life as this is customary to her culture and this help strengthen the relationship with her mother.
  • Accessed the Private Rental Brokerage Fund and was approved $2000 to assist with rent and furniture.
  • Attended open for inspections together and visited real estate agents. With the flexibility of the BOOST program Jenny was offered support to look at Open for Inspections on a Saturday
  • Referrals for baby furniture and clothes.

Jenny accessed a private rental property that was safe and affordable through a private landlord. Jenny was able to move into this property only days before the arrival of a healthy baby boy. $1000 of the PRB fund was used to pay for a month’s rent in advance and the other $1000 paid for some whitegoods. Upon closing Jenny had a positive and supportive relationship again with her mother and other family members. She was linked in with Maternal and Child Health services and was happy and well.

(* Not her real name)

Image source: Mother And Baby by Anna Langova

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