Jenny was released from prison with nowhere to live.

Facing homelessness, she decided to return to Ballarat, where she had last lived before going to prison. She found temporary crisis accommodation in the town, and through her partner was introduced to the reverend at a local church. That’s where she met Mary – and everything started to change.

Mary is an elderly parishioner, who invited Jenny to stay at her house. Mary’s support meant Jenny could start volunteering, attend voluntary drug and alcohol counselling sessions, and save money. With her savings, Jenny bought a new fridge and washing machine, which she’d never been able to do before. She was proud of herself, and was ready to move into a place of her own – but didn’t have recent rental history, and her applications kept getting knocked back.

But Jenny’s ReConnect case worker was able to help. We successfully submitted an application for a Corrections Victoria supported housing property for Jenny, and she moved in soon after – furnishing the house herself. This rental history she’s building will help her secure a private rental in the future. 

The stability of Jenny’s situation gave her the space and support she needed to think about her relationship with her partner.

While chatting with her ReConnect case worker, she shared that her partner, who is currently in prison, had been violent to her in the past. After her release from prison, she stayed in contact with him, but felt distressed every time they spoke. She decided to cut contact with him, and asked her ReConnect case worker to remove her details from his visit list, which we did. Jenny feels she will be strong enough not to return to the relationship when he is eventually released.

From facing homelessness and violence on her release from prison, Jenny is now an active, motivated, and connected member of her community.