“It’s just great that the Simons look after everyone, that people have somewhere to call home. It’s somewhere you’re safe, where you can relax and feel more comfortable in your own skin. I feel comfortable here in this home. I wouldn’t have felt that way before.

I remember the day I moved in. It was like I won the lotto. It was a moment I’ll never forget. It was amazing. I just felt so blessed. It was a big change for me; more security in my life knowing I wouldn’t be homeless.

I did the decorating myself. I do like the way it works with all my little bits of artwork and things like that. I’ve done it all on my own. I have my little dog as well. She’s the comfort in the house. She makes this house a home. My little dog, Sandy. She’s just spoiled, and she spoils me. Sandy makes me feel a lot more relaxed and not feeling so alone because life can be lonely.

I’m a mental health advocate. It means the world to me, helping people and getting the word out there, speaking about mental health. It helps break the stigma. Humanity don’t accept people with mental health. There’s still judgement, unfortunately.

I suffer with mental health; living with it can be a challenge in itself. There’d be very few people that would be supportive towards mental health. I manage it with my doctors, I go to a daycare centre and that really helps. I get told I have good resilience.

And the Simon helps me. They’re just so supportive. It’s very personal where they treat you with so much respect and so much kindness and compassion. It’s unbelievable. I have a keyworker who visits every week. I’d be lost without her. She means the world to me. They’re full of heart; they’d do anything to help you.

And my Sandy, of course. She minds the house, she minds me.

It makes me very sad to think that we’re in 2024 and there’s still homeless people in the country. Everyone deserves a roof over their head and somewhere to call home. Nobody should be judged. I’d like to see humanity accept people more for who you are and not what you live with. Nobody knows at the end of the day what illness you might have or what circumstances they’re in or how they managed to get homeless. And I think they need more support than anybody.”

- Antoinette.