After years of mental and financial abuse, I finally got the strength to leave my marriage. I knew things were going to be tough, but I never dreamed of the horrible situations the last 6 years would bring to me. Initially I was homeless for 10 months, just couch surfing with friends and family, but managing to keep my job. I was able to secure a townhouse for my teenage daughter and I to live in for 3 years, using my child support and rent assistance… I had a total mental breakdown, and was couch surfing once again. At this time I was apparently on high priority emergency housing with public housing. Trouble is, during the time you are “supposedly” on emergency housing, usually your mental state is in no state to be able to gather all the paperwork [required]… I am now on $570.00 a fortnight, I pay $400 a fortnight on rent [in a private rental] which leaves $170 a fortnight to exist on (you definitely don’t live on it). I am 56, have never been on any government benefits until I left an abusive marriage, and I can’t see how anything is going to change for me too much. *name has been changed. Photo representative only, from Unsplash