Before coming to live in a new Home in Place unit in Palmerston North, Cameron was having to travel hours each way, several times a week, to hospital for dialysis and other treatments.
Now the 33 year old, who has renal failure and is terminally ill, is now five minutes away from hospital.
His mum Ciarra, whom he lives with, says having the new place at Palmerston North has made a world of difference to her and Cameron. They have been living there now for 15 months.
“We feel really lucky to have this place,” Ciarra says.
“From the moment we walked into the place it had a very good feeling,” she says.
“We were so wrapped.”
“It is a ground floor place which is important because Cameron is in a wheelchair and soon will have to have both legs amputated. In the interim both legs are in a cast permanent as his ankles have dissolved completely.”
Ciarra says she and Cameron were renting privately 140 km away from Palmerston North. The rent kept going up until she could no longer afford to live there.
“Cameron was the first on the community transport bus and last off, so he was leaving at 4:30am and not getting home until 4:30pm.”
“Being here has helped Cameron’s health and wellbeing. He is not as tired. And he doesn’t have to worry about being late to appointments and treatments.”
“We have established good supports since moving to Palmerston North and Cameron has a fantastic carer. She is compassionate, understanding and family orientated. She really cares about her job and about Cameron.”
She and Cameron feel pretty safe and the neighbours are pretty friendly. While caring for Cameron is her current priority, she is looking forward to going back to work in Palmerston North at some stage.
Ciarra says she has good dealings with Home in Place’s Tenant Relations Officer, Renee.
“Renee is awesome. She is lovely to deal with and understanding of our situation.”
“We are making some modifications to accommodate Cameron’s wheelchair because we don’t want to leave this place.”
“The only soldier I know is my son, and I want Cameron to be happy where he is living for as long as we are together.” getting her own two-bedroom apartment, Riana was living with her mother, brothers and sisters, her sister’s two children and her own two children. Her mum’s three-bedroom home wasn’t big enough for everyone.
“We had mine and my sister’s stuff stored in one room, so my mum and siblings had to sleep in the loungeroom. My sister and her kids had one room and I had the other room with my kids,” Riana says.
She says it was very overcrowded and overwhelming at times. There was no privacy or space.
“My brothers are teenagers, and it was unfair to them to not have their own room.”
With high rents and the high costs of living Riana had no alternative until she was able to move into apartment in Whanganui this year.
Riana loves her new apartment and is enjoying the peace and quiet. She says it has taken away a lot of worry.
Having their own place has made a big difference to her two year old and one year old.
“I really appreciated being able to live at my mum’s place, it was great but also very disruptive for the kids. They have calmed down a lot. It has been easier for me to get them into a routine.”
Riana loves the layout of the apartment. She says it is very helpful that the apartment is close to shops and services.
“We are smack in the middle of town, so I am close to the supermarket and shops.”
“The apartment is fairly new but had been refurbished with a new oven. It is clean and looks like a new house.”
She appreciates the support of Renee and Home inPlace New Zealand staff members.
“Renee is lovely – she is easy to contact and gets the job done.”
Riana says being able to access community housing is really important for her and many others.
“When you don’t have a place of your own it makes life harder than it needs to be. It just puts people under a lot of pressure when they don’t need it.”
Home in place (New Zealand) Ltd
38A Liverpool Street Auckland CBD, AUCKLAND 1010 New Zealand
Ph 0800 124 663