You arrive in a foreign country but you have no bank account, no credit history, no personal references and no English language skills.
You have escaped a war zone, survived a refugee camp but now somehow you have to find safe and secure accommodation for your children in the midst of a pandemic.
This is the unbelievable challenge that is facing refugees and people seeking asylum in Geelong.
For new arrivals, it is almost impossible to find a home in difficult rental market without help.
This is where Diversitat comes in.
As the provider of the Humanitarian Settlement Program in Geelong, last year Diversitat assisted over 400 refugees and people seeking asylum to find rental housing in their new home town.
This included 198 children and young people.
The future of this housing program was in jeopardy until The Geelong Community Foundation made the decision to invest $80,000 in this essential service.
This will employ a specialist housing worker to work with local landlords and real estate agents to assist new arrivals to rent a home in Geelong.
Diversitat Unit Manager of Safe Secure, Casey O’Brien, is excited about the fresh injection of support from the Geelong Foundation.
“This funding is a profound investment in the way we welcome the newest and most vulnerable members of our community.
It will have a direct positive impact on the physical and mental health and well-being of hundreds of people in our region and provide a scaffolding for building new ways of welcome.
The generous support of the Geelong Foundation means The Diversitat Housing program is open for business for another year, at least.”
If you are interested in helping in the settlement program, the organisation is on the lookout volunteers.
“We are always happy to hear from people who want to help our new arrivals. Geelong has a big heart. It’s a great place to call home.”