Brenton came to PCLC because he was facing severe financial hardship and was currently living in his car. He was seeking assistance in accessing his superannuation and applying for the Disability Support Pension. He also needed advice about family law issues as he has three children living interstate that he had not seen for several years. In addition to all of this, he said he was homeless.
When our Social Worker met with Brenton, it became apparent that there were a number of other issues that were concerning him. Brenton had previously been employed as a long-haul truck driver earning a good salary, but due to a chronic and recurring health condition, he had been unable to work for the last six months. Brenton was now trying to survive on Newstart Allowance as well as making payments on the loans he had established when he had a regular income.
Additionally, as a professional driver, Brenton had been using his truck as his home. Without a job, Brenton was rendered homeless. He told our Social Worker that he was sleeping in his car, which was parked in the yard of a friend’s factory and, in the middle of winter, he had no access to heating or any cooking facilities.
Our Social Worker referred Brenton to the Salvation Army for assistance with accommodation but the only accommodation available for a single man was a rooming house. Brenton was not keen on this option and said that he would rather stay in his car.
With Brenton’s permission, our Social Worker negotiated new arrangements with all the loan companies so that Brenton wasn’t spending all his Newstart Allowance on loan repayments. Brenton also complained of chronic tooth pain and he was referred to the local dental health service.
Following this session, Brenton’s health deteriorated significantly, and he was hospitalized for a period of seven weeks. During this time our Social Worker and Lawyers visited him in hospital and continued to work on his behalf. Applications were made to Brenton’s Superannuation Fund to access some of his Superannuation due to his extreme situation and work continued on getting a revocation of his outstanding traffic fines.
Upon discharge from the hospital, Brenton moved in to a local caravan park and has been living there ever since. His health condition is on-going but he has had expert advice and it is now being managed much better. He has received an allocation of funds from his Superannuation Fund and can clear his outstanding loans. He has attended the dental clinic and is about to be fitted for new teeth.
During his hospitalization, Brenton’s mother visited him every day and she is now providing significant emotional support for her son. Brenton may never be able to work again due to his health
condition and he is in the process of applying for the Disability Support Pension, but he is a happier man than when we first met him. Our Lawyers continue to work on re-establishing contact with his children and we are confident that this will result in a positive outcome in the near future.