It starts with a roof over your head

Alicia Asic

By Ilora Barman and Erika von Kaschke

Forging a future for people from a migrant or refugee background often starts with helping families find a roof over their heads.

It is common knowledge that shelter or having a home to live in is one of the basic needs of all human beings. I’ve recently spoken to Alicia Asic who provides transitional accommodation support. She and the rest of the My Home and Family team see first-hand how crises, such as domestic violence, or seeking asylum as a refugee, can put extra stress on families who are already under a lot of pressure.

Lyly (pseudonym) decided to move to Australia with her husband and their five children as life in Burundi was no longer stable. She was desperate to give her children a better future. They reached Australia as a refugee family and looked for help from Multicultural Futures.  The My Home and Family team provided them with temporary accommodation to help them get back on their feet.
Once the family had a roof over their heads, all the other services at Multicultural Futures like the Children’s Program, Mental Health Access Service, and the Settlement Program all worked together to help them settle in the community.

Lyly already had a big family, but she and her husband later adopted five more children from their community who were removed by the child protection service. This made it hard to find a five-bedroom house, but the My Home and Family team finally found a house for them. Later, Lyly and her husband got full-time jobs and supported their family of ten children.

Lyly’s story is not an exception. Rather, it is quite common to see that once families are settled in a secure and safe home, they have the ability to find their feet when it comes to all aspects of society. To top this story off – Lyly and her family have recently purchased their own home.

Alicia Asic