Natalia* – Melbourne’s East


“I’ve lived in public housing since 1999.


Before that, I was living with a man who did nothing but beat me.


One day I just collapsed and was rushed to hospital. They said they weren’t expecting me to live.


I remember praying and fighting like mad, hanging onto the bars of the bed, saying “you’re not taking me, you’re not taking me.”


The doctors told me they didn’t want me to go back to that man.


Somehow, some way they contacted the Office of Housing and they offered me a house.


I moved in with one sheet – that’s all I had.


I slept on the floor and bit by bit built myself up. I’ve never been happier in my life than I am now.


I’ve been in about 9 different foster homes,


I’ve lived on the street, and now I’ve got my home and I’m ever so happy.


I’ve made it very comfortable with a beautiful garden.


Having a home gives you a chance to start living again. Now I’m like a butterfly.”


Natalia* – Melbourne’s East