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A garden that grows joy and hope

Community Housing tenants Miriam (back centre), Kerry (front left) Carmel (centre) with Wesley Mission tenancy worker Liesa (front right) and community greening volunteer Darren (back right) who donated a bench he made.

After a series of setbacks in her life, Miriam found herself homeless in Sydney. Having Wesley Mission help her into a community housing unit started her on the path towards healing and renewal. But one of the most lifechanging aspects of having a home was actually outside its walls – in the little shared garden she helped plant with the other tenants.

It began when our Wesley Mission tenancy workers would visit to see how the tenants were going, and they’d drop off a few plants at the same time. The garden became a place for everyone to connect and experience the pleasure and satisfaction of creating something lovely together.

“When COVID allowed, we’d all have a cuppa and chat,” says Miriam’s tenancy worker, Liesa. “When we had to social distance, we’d stand outside with the plants we brought and shout out ‘here they are.’ Miriam loved it so much, she donated a big table we could use in the garden.”

Miriam isn’t where she wants to be just yet, but she’s come so far. “Wesley Mission is helping me back on my feet,” she says. “It’s a village of support.”

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