Homelessness could happen to anyone

MOST of us are only two or three bad decisions away from homelessness.

But Red Hill Rd Christian Doreen Beuthin puts it another way.

"There but for the grace of God go I," she told The Gympie Times.

And Sean Connelly, of Family and Child Connect, says the emergency housing crisis in Gympie has one simple explanation.

"There is no spare emergency accommodation in Gympie, none whatsoever," he said at Mrs Beuthin's home.

They were joined by three people who know the problem all too well, Renee Porteous and her two children, Blake, 13 and Ziggirose, 2.

HOMELESS: Renee Porteous (left) and (above) people willing to help, Gympie’s Doreen Beuthin with Sean Connelly.
HOMELESS: Renee Porteous (left) and (above) people willing to help, Gympie’s Doreen Beuthin with Sean Connelly. Greg Miller

With a third child on the way, Renee says she has been very grateful for the help she has received from Mrs Beuthin, but she and her dog and cat need somewhere permanent.

"People still think there must be something wrong with a woman on her own, especially with kids," Mrs Beuthin said.

"But it takes a lot of real courage to take yourself and your children away from an abusive or dangerous environment," she said.

"I've known Renee since she was 21 and she saw me down the street and recognised me.

"I could see she was stressed and said, 'Come to my place while we sort something out.

"We can do this as a family," she told Renee.

"My husband died when I was 26 and I know that people just can't believe a woman on her own is worth helping."

Renee Porteous agrees that personal security is more of a problem than the weather. "It helps," she said of Mrs Beuthin's generosity.

"We just appreciate what you've done for us," she said.

Gympie Times


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