Nowhere to go

DUE to severe financial difficulty, Mandurah resident Glenys Upton has been forced into homelessness and has been living out of her car for more than a month.

For the past two years Ms Upton has seen her situation gradually worsen, her only income being a widow’s allowance which has provided little to help her situation.

“I’ve been everywhere and tried everything,” said Ms Upton.

“Every time I’ve asked for help, I’m just put on a list.

“People don’t want to know.”

Ms Upton travels by day, waiting until nightfall where she cooks a meal using a public barbecue before driving into bushland to sleep in her car.

“To come to this point is very sad,” she said.

Ms Upton is one of many homeless people living in Mandurah and has been surprised by the sheer number of homeless people in the area.

“It’s not just here, it’s nationwide,” she said. According to Ms Upton, many homeless people have turned to drink and drugs as a way of coping.

She said she had been hesitant to inform her family in Victoria about her present circumstances as she fears her father’s health problems may worsen as a result and with two young granddaughters to care for locally she is fast running out of options.

“I feel humiliated,” Ms Upton said.

“I dread to think of the future.”

Despite her situation Ms Upton tries to remain positive and hopeful.

“I won’t let it get the better of me,” she said.

“My granddaughters keep me going.”

To help those who are struggling financially, Ms Upton believes certain changes need to be made, starting with housing prices.

“Mandurah seems out of reach to the ordinary person,” Ms Upton said.

“These problems have to be addressed.

“We need cheaper housing, things have got to change.”

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