‘Saturday, it was late, windy and freezing, I picked up a chap making a bed against his wheelchair and took him home to one of the houses I’ve provided in Geelong.’ Jessica Pearce. This week is Homelessness Week. Everybody’s life and past experiences help to shape who they are as people and what they end up doing. Many wonderful people are inspired by their experiences – good and bad – to make a difference in the lives of others. Jessica is one of these people.
Jessica experienced a less than easy childhood, that involved moving out of her family home as a teenager and moving into a house that was run by a local church that provided accommodation to young people who were homeless but wanted to finish high school. It was entirely run by volunteers; Two young adults studying youth work lived in the house with four girls, herself included, who had come from difficult circumstances. There was also a single mother with two young children upstairs. Even with her unfortunate circumstances, Jessica considered herself to be in a “much better state than the other girls living there” as she hadn’t been subjected to some of the things that they had been.
Despite the various hardships that she faced in her life, Jessica pulled herself up and out. She is easily a perfect example of somebody who was in an unfortunate situation but managed to get themselves into a safe and stable situation thanks to the help that was offered to her. Not only is she now the CEO of an Australian owned company that employs over 100 people, but she has also chosen to help those in similar situations to the one she had found herself in as a teenager and has purchased multiple affordable houses, two of which are located in Geelong.
Jessica looks at houses as investments that she can use to help those in need. The homes that she purchases are found at affordable prices in areas of need. She purchases them in order to help those in the area with their living situations. Her aim is to help local communities and prevent homelessness.
Thanks to donations of furniture these houses are slowly filling with an accumulation of items that everyone needs to feel comfortable and safe in their current situations. Jessica is still putting up requests depending on what each individual person needs. Whenever these requests are filled someone in need is given a necessity that they may not have had the chance to get otherwise. https://www.facebook.com/helpinghomeless.com.au/
These homes are offered to the locals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Whether these are teenagers living in unstable environments, or single parents who are struggling to make ends meet, all are offered a safe and affordable place to stay for either the short or long term. If they are staying short term, no rent is asked for of the tenants. If they are staying in the homes long term, an affordable rent is negotiated. The fortnightly rent is in line with Centrelink payments. The rent includes all utilities in order to avoid any arguments over who’s been responsible for what usages and no unexpectedly large bills surprise anyone.
These homes provide youths and the homeless with a safe and stable place to stay whilst studying, meanwhile tenants are able to accumulate a positive rental history. With her amazing drive and strong desire to help make a difference in the lives of others, Jessica Pearce is giving less-fortunate kids a chance at a future and giving others a chance to get back on their feet.
Written by Gemma Nicholls
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