Haryath* and her daughter became homeless in Melbourne after escaping domestic violence. They are safe now in an affordable home. Watch her story.
Hi, my name is Haryath and my daughter and I experienced homelessness in Melbourne. I'm originally from India. I have a degree, and I worked in banking for five years. I left India when I moved here with my ex-husband with the dream of a beautiful life.
Soon after we moved, my husband became violent. I first experienced homelessness when my daughter was a baby. We had to escape the situation, but I didn't know anyone here and had no support. For two to three months, we stayed in hotels and sometimes scary motels. It was so stressful with a baby not knowing where we would be tomorrow and what might happen.
I only had one or two sets of clothes for myself and my daughter because I didn't know the area very well, and I didn't have money to buy more for us. I would wash the set of clothes that I wasn't wearing in the bathroom sink, washing them by hand and trying to dry them inside.
People need supportive communities to get the right help so they can feel like themselves again. Without community support, I wouldn't be here today. It was the people who never gave up on me, connecting me with the right services, that was the biggest help.
Since finding a home, we've done so much. I have so many hopes and plans now. When I was homeless, I couldn't see my tomorrow, but now I see a good job, my daughter in a great school, and one day getting my permanent residency.
I think people in Melbourne need to know that we are human. Homelessness is a situation and a point in time, a hard time that anyone in their life can experience. So just be kind, be supportive, and support people.
*Note: Haryath* and her daughter Arya* are represented here by actors, and their real names have not been used to protect privacy.