Imagine you are constantly fighting for survival, waking up each morning wondering if you will eat that day and where you will sleep that night. 

Imagine not having a place to call home. Imagine not having hope that you will find that home soon.

The lead-up to Christmas can often be a time of joy and happiness; a time of relaxation with family and friends. But for many people this year, impacted by the South Australian rental crisis, this will sadly not be the case. Many will be left wondering where they will even be living over Christmas – will it be in their car, on a friend’s sofa, a tent pitched in the parklands?

More and more women are experiencing homelessness as a result of the rental crisis and lack of affordable housing. 

While others enjoy Christmas in their own homes, opening presents around the Christmas tree, and receiving well wishes from loved ones, we will be supporting more than 70 women who will either be staying at Catherine House or returning to join us for Christmas lunch because they have nowhere else to go.

Our intake worker is currently inundated with calls from women who are confiding in her about staying in their cars, or sleeping in tents. Some women are even sleeping under bushes in parks, with no shelter from the elements. Women who are desperately trying to find a safe place to stay, and who are constantly getting knocked back from rental properties due to high demand. 

On average, we usually have around 25-30 women on our waitlist for crisis accommodation each night – we now have double that amount. In the nearly 35 years of Catherine House, we have never before seen so many women needing our support.

60-year-old *Lisa approached Catherine House after becoming homeless for the first time in her life. She had happily lived in a rental for several years, but her landlord decided to sell. Lisa then moved in with her daughter while searching for a new home, but faced rejection after rejection at open inspections.

“I had never thought that I would find myself homeless. I had worked all my life, while raising a family, and had always had a roof over my head. My husband passed away a few years ago, and I’ve found it harder and harder to keep up with rental payments. 
It was impossible to find an affordable property in all of Adelaide. I have never had this problem before. I was at breaking point.  

Catherine House was not anything I could have expected. My case worker helped me to get back on my feet after months of uncertainty, and worked with me to find affordable housing in a suburb close to my grandchildren.

In what should have been the worst time of my life, Catherine House turned my life around. I am now about to live in my first community housing property, that will give me a safe, secure and affordable home to finally start to enjoy my retirement in.” 

With skyrocketing rental prices in our State, those living on low incomes are struggling to put a roof over their head. The demand for our services is at an all-time high.

We hope that you will consider making a donation to Catherine House, and supporting women experiencing homelessness in South Australia.

Your donation of $25 will allow a Catherine House mother to purchase a gift for her child, who is not currently in her care.

A gift of $100 today will provide a Christmas Gift Bag to be given to a woman who will be staying with us on Christmas Day, including self-care items.

Your donation of $300 will help our clients with the emotional challenges of Christmas, especially if they are separated from their families.

 
Your gift of $1,000 will support nutritious meals for women staying at Catherine House this Christmas.