Todd’s journey from aircraft engineer to homeless and sleeping on a train
Homelessness doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution.
Todd* is an 83-year-old retired aircraft engineer who became homeless after his elderly sister – who he’d been living with – passed away. Todd went to his family doctor for support, but was frustrated that the only option given to him was to move to an aged care facility.
Still in good health and very independent, Todd felt aged care facilities were full of “weird old people” and he wasn’t ready to settle into that environment just yet.
I felt like I was being placed in God’s waiting room.Todd
No one wants to feel like a burden and this was certainly the case for Todd. He didn’t want his two daughters – who have families of their own – to take him in, so he became a nomad, staying in his car and visiting friends all over NSW.
After his car broke down, he found acceptance among the homeless community that sleeps on the train between Sydney and Newcastle. His family had no idea, believing he was staying with friends and other relatives.
One day, Todd arrived at Central station in Sydney and saw a Missionbeat van.
With a smile on his face, he went right up to the team. He received immediate assistance from the Homeless Health team for an infection in his leg and was offered temporary accommodation in a nearby hotel.
Missionbeat Outreach assisted Todd with a Housing NSW application and advocated for him to receive urgent housing. The team worked with Todd’s GP and agreed he should try independent living with an aged support package. This would allow Todd to remain independent while having support available if required.
Missionbeat recently took Todd to view his new unit and connect him with a local caseworker, who will provide him with longer-term support.
Todd is so thankful to have a stable home where he can live independently as long as he is able.
Older Australians experiencing homelessness need your help.
The number of people over the age of 55 experiencing homelessness in Australia has increased 4% over the past five years.1
Independence is precious
Your support allows ageing and elderly Australians who have been forced into homelessness to live out their golden years in safety, and with the dignity they deserve.
Do you want to help people like Todd? Donate today or consider leaving a gift in your Will.Donate today or Leave a gift
*Names and Images have been changed to protect the identities of the people we helped
1ABS (2021) Estimating homelessness: Census
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