Finding stability and hope after the floods

Senior citizen George was homeless, emotional and overwhelmed, and it was clear that he needed a place to call home along with other supports to help him recover.

Senior citizen George had always managed to take care of himself until the devastating Victorian floods in December 2022. The rising flood water quickly inundated his house destroying his car and all his belongings. After suddenly becoming homeless, George had no other choice but to move from house to house to live with different family members across Victoria.

After two months he was out of accommodation options with his family struggling to cope and find suitable living arrangements for him. It was at this juncture that George was referred to Windermere’s Flood Recovery Program.

Funded by the Federal and Victorian Governments, the Flood Recovery Program provides support to residents affected by the Victorian flood event to help them recover and rebuild.

George was homeless, emotional and overwhelmed, and it was clear that he needed a place to call home along with other supports to help him recover. Windermere arranged emergency accommodation for George, to give him some much-needed stability. His recovery support worker spent substantial time with George lending a listening ear to help establish a rapport with him. George would share long stories about his past and eventually began to express his feelings of deep hopelessness and suicide.

His recovery support worker carried out a risk assessment, reached out to the local GP for a mental health review and referred him to Rural Health Connect for free counselling.

Through these supports George was able to gain access to therapy tools to build resilience and knowledge on effects of trauma.

This helped him find solace and understand, much to his relief, that his forgetfulness was due to trauma.

George came to look forward to the twice weekly phone calls with his recovery support worker and would offer a reminder of the next scheduled appointment at the end of each session. To reduce his isolation, his recovery support worker reached out to another service to arrange regular welfare visits, while he remained in emergency accommodation.

With his mental wellbeing secured, his recovery support worker began making enquiries on the rebuilding of George’s home. He had been left in the dark about the details of its status and the delays were causing him much anxiety. Although George’s home was insured, the financial status remained unclear. The question as to why the insurance company had failed to provide George with accommodation also remained unanswered. In an attempt to find clarity, the recovery support worker reached out to a financial counsellor through Anglicare.

At present, the recovery support worker is continuing to advocate for George and is engaging with the insurance company to secure funds for accommodation and the rebuilding of his home.


Fore more information about Windermere’s Flood Recovery Program visit our Flood Recovery Support Program