Since the outbreak of COVID-19 sent us into a global lockdown, there has been a financial crisis around the world. Food, fuel, and the cost of living have increased since then. Some countries, such as Australia, have become unaffordable for the average family. The parents of a toddler and baby were forced to live in a tent after the land they had been renting was sold.
A Home in The Outback
Tristan and Sushannah Taylor, 22 and 20 years old, lived in Roma, Queensland, with their two children. Delilah is their first child, and she is two years old. Luna is their second child, and she is six months old. They had lived in their country home for two years, and they loved it. In the space of a month, their lives turned upside-down.
The owner of the land they were renting decided to sell, and the new owner gave them notice to leave. In the past two years, rental prices had soared while they were living comfortably in the country. Because of this, they were unable to find another home within their means and were forced to move into a tent on a campsite.
During an interview with 7News, Sushannah said: “We had a nice little rental out in the country and we had lived there for about two years. However, our landlord sold the house and we couldn’t find another rental in time, plus our area had become unaffordable to rent in.”
In Australia, the rental market has become very competitive, and young parents were struggling to compete. They searched for a long time and used every connection and resource they could to find a long-term home to rent. However, their efforts were in vain. She even tried contacting the local shelters, but they were also full of other families going through a similar situation. The only option they had was to live in a tent.
Nutrition is scarce, basic hygiene is difficult, it gets really hot in the tent and then it gets really cold.’ says Sushannah.
They Are Looking For Work
Before they moved into their tent home, the young parents had a stable life. Tristan used to have a full-time job, but now he was unemployed. Centrelink helped them survive, but their search for work never stopped. Tristan is looking for work in just about any industry, and he is keen on part-time or full-time employment. Sushannah is looking for weekend work.
Many industries have used them, including hospitality, warehouses, and even cleaning. Tristan sent out 40 applications. Three responded back for an interview.
Their only option is to persevere until a job comes along. The tent will serve as their home until they can secure a rental of their own in a real house.
We are looking for work, and I am on Centrelink. We just had interviews today. “We plan to get a job and live in a tent until we can find a rental,” said Sushanna.
They are Uncertain, Yet Determined
Living in a tent hasn’t been easy for Sushnnah. Due to the lack of stability and uncertainty of finding a rental, she has been dealing with anxiety. In the hope of finding a safe place to sleep, they move from campsite to campsite. The cost of being homeless is also greater than they anticipated, which only adds to their uncertainty.
“… the hardest part would be the financial challenges of being homeless.
Although we do our best, sometimes it isn’t enough. “We’re just surfing around in a tent, searching for safe places to sleep,” says Sushannah.
TikTok has been used by the tent-bound mother to share her experiences as a homeless family in Australia. She wrote: “Obviously, we can’t stay at one campsite for too long because other people have reserved ahead of time – so we’ll have to move.”
“Unfortunately, I cannot accept money from anyone. “There are people in much worse shape than I am, and they need your money more than I do,” she says.
“I have some savings. Since I knew what state the country was in, I have always saved for a crisis like this. Therefore, until I get very desperate, I cannot accept your money – but thank you so much for the offers. I have already uprooted myself and moved six to seven hours away from where I was previously living to find a more secure location.”
1. “Aussie mum forced to live in tent with baby, toddler and husband as rental crisis grips Australia.” 7News. Cindy Tran. May 12, 2022.
2. “Aussie mum is forced to live in a TENT with baby and toddler after family struggled to find affordable home when landlord sold their rental.” DailyMail. Tita Smith. 11 May 2022