What would you like to share with readers about yourself?
I’m Samar, I’m 33, I have cerebral palsy and live in a new SDA apartment. I work training support workers at courses and my other job is a personal assistant. I also do projects with the Summer Foundation.
I enjoy getting out and about – I like going to the beach, restaurants and out for coffee. I used to stay at home but now I’m very outgoing and love to live life.
Tell us about your housing journey.
At 18 I had 2 nights in aged care and then ended up in hospital and never returned to aged care. I knew I never wanted to live there.
For many years I lived in government housing that was unsuitable. I couldn’t get around and was abused by a person in the building, leaving me very scared. Finally I got a good support coordinator and was able to get SDA in my NDIS plan. I lived in medium-term accommodation for a year and half because initially the SDA came back with shared accommodation, which was not what I asked for. I appealed the decision so I could live on my own – it was a hard journey and really upset me but about 8 months later I got my SDA apartment and I moved in last June.
It was quite overwhelming, getting all the equipment and furniture I needed so I could make it like home, but I felt like I had found somewhere safe to live.
You were involved in the Summer Foundation’s project to create resources to help people move out of aged care. How was that?
It was very good, I felt I was getting my voice out there and helping. It might feel like you haven’t got choice and control but there are avenues you can take if you have the right supports in place. I enjoy working on the projects I do with the Summer Foundation.
The NDIS has changed my life for the better. I do things I couldn’t do before – I recently went away for the weekend, I have things I look forward to now, I have a purpose in life.
I do have bad days but with the help of support workers I am able to overcome that. Having my support team helps me get focused and see that it’s not all bad.