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Joe opens the door to happiness

A bad run with mental health left Joe on the streets. Within a week, he lost everything dear to him – his home, career, and relationship.

Joe was approached by a Ruah support worker after sleeping in a park for three months, and received support through the 50 Lives 50 Homes program. The collaborative impact program provided Western Australia’s most vulnerable rough sleepers with safe and permanent accommodations and then supported them with wrap around support to help them retain their residencies. It’s legacy continues today with the Zero Project.

A safe place to call his own meant everything to Joe.

“When I first got the place, I was stalled because I’d never lived by myself ever. I’m 54 this year and it’s the first place I’ve ever had which was mine. Everything I want is there for me. It just gives you such a lift, bit more pride in yourself because it’s yours.”

With the encouragement and support of his support team, Joe was determined to rewrite his future.

“The team is like my family, there’s no judgement. They chipped away at my rough edges and smoothed me off and my confidence slowly built. It was not an easy process but I got there in the end. Now when I wake up and look in the mirror I’m able to smile at myself and say you’re alright!”

Joe receives regular visits from Homeless Health Care and After Hours Services which help to support him in maintaining his mental health.

“Before Ruah and 50 Lives 50 Homes program, I was in a really ugly and dark place. They sort of dusted me off and propped me up which was a big help.

“Today, I still receive constant support. I receive regular check-ins from Homeless Healthcare. As well whenever I need help, I can pick up the phone and give After-Hours a ring”.

With his own home and improved mental wellbeing, Joe has opened the door to happiness with a renewed and brighter outlook to his future.

“With my mental health back in order, the only way is up. All I ever wanted was to be happy, and now I’m pretty much there. The sky’s the limit for me”.

Joe is one of many clients that have found safety and security with support from the 50 Lives 50 Homes program, and homelessness support from Ruah Community Services. You can read other stories here.

Watch Joe and others share their stories in this short video.