Finding a Home at Edel Quinn

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Vinnies runs more than 25 homelessness accommodation services across NSW. These are places where people can find safety and a path forward after experiencing homelessness, domestic and family violence, addiction, unemployment, and otherwise being down on their luck.

One of those places is Edel Quinn, a Vinnies crisis accommodation centre in Wagga Wagga. It’s the only facility of its kind – if it didn’t exist, the men and women we support would have to travel at least 180 kilometres out of town to find a safe place to sleep.

Edel Quinn has been helping Riverina locals to access beds, food, permanent housing, and other support since 1966. Each year, we house over 100 people there, and provide outreach assistance to over 200 more.

One of those people is Michael, a 66-year-old Wagga Wagga man. After a rough childhood, Michael fell into drug addiction and had a criminal record by the time he turned 17. Mental health problems, addiction and social isolation led him to spend much of his adult life in and out of prison.

Although he has professional qualifications in public relations and marketing, finding a steady job proved difficult for Michael due to his history. “Once a junkie, always a junkie” is the attitude he came up against.

When Michael left prison in 2016, he found himself homeless. He came to Edel Quinn desperate to stay off the drugs and rebuild his life. As well as giving Michael a safe place to stay, we supported him to get healthcare for his mental and physical health issues, and build independent living skills, such as learning to cook healthy food on a budget.

“Edel Quinn has been foundational in assisting me to rebuild my life,” Michael said. “My case worker has continued to go above and beyond in helping me. Being able to stay here has enabled me to take care of my health concerns, transition back to life after prison, and grow my confidence to do many things people take for granted, like applying for housing. I am very thankful.”

With the support of our dedicated staff at Edel Quinn, Michael has now moved out to a transitional unit, where he is living independently and happily.

Homelessness Week 2020

During National Homelessness Week (3-7 August 2020), Vinnies is honouring the strength and resilience of thousands of people like Michael, who have experienced homelessness and pulled through to pursue their goals.

“Experiencing homelessness is a constant physical, mental and emotional struggle. It’s more than not having a home – it’s lacking security, privacy, healthcare, nutrition, and so many other things that most of us take for granted,” said Jack de Groot, CEO of Vinnies NSW.

You can help support people like Michael by donating to Vinnies. Every dollar helps keep essential services like Edel Quinn up and running throughout COVID-19 and into the future. Please donate today.