Back home, 18-year-old Rami could only dare to dream about a career as an engineer. His family was persecuted for their religious beliefs, and lived each day in fear. Coming to Australia in 2019 was about safety, security, a new start. A place to access better treatment for this family’s failing health.
They did not expect the uncertainty, trauma and stress that’s plagued them since their arrival. They did not expect to face homelessness, over and over again – more than 100 housing applications, rejected every time.
“All we wanted was to be safe. My brother, in our home country, he was arrested and tortured for his beliefs. It was very stressful and frightening and he is never the same. My parents, their health is failing fast. “We thought, now we are here, it would be OK. But the problems, they have not gone away. We cannot find a proper home, and we feel very alone.” For almost three years, this family has been seeking a permanent place to call home. , imagine Rami’s desperation – rejected for over 100 housing applications.
South Australia’s housing crisis is deepening.
For families like Rami’s, there’s no help in sight.
Thousands of South Australians – including children – are becoming more vulnerable to housing stress and homelessness and that number is likely to increase.
The toughest competition is for family homes, and the crisis is further complicated for families like Rami’s. With complex needs and being new to our country and its systems, Rami and his family find the housing market extremely challenging to navigate.
At ARA, we will provide specialised services, tailored to their complex case. Our case workers are former refugees, who have navigated and worked through system barriers themselves.
With you by our side, ARA will do everything possible to help them. Your compassionate donation today will help provide Rami with a bond and rent in advance to help as a guarantee to back their applications. (PLUS, keep in mind, if you make your donation before 30 June, it will be tax-deductible.)
Rami is a young carer for his mum, dad and older brother.
All three. All at once. And he’s all alone.
His parents want Rami with them, to support them through their appointments, and talking to doctors. Zayd does not cope with simple day-to-day life and needs constant reassurance and comfort from Rami. On top of this, they have been unable to find secure housing. Without you and I to help them, within the next two months, they will be homeless.
Can you imagine the ongoing threat of homelessness? That’s what Rami carries on his young shoulders, for his whole family, trying to find somewhere to live.
The reason families like Rami’s fall through the cracks is that other services find it difficult to understand their complex circumstances, language barriers and cultural differences. Without help to navigate the system, Rami will be stuck in a cycle of perpetual crisis.
Rami’s parents struggle more every day. “We have no proper bed for mum. She has to sleep on a couch. In the house, there is no heating and cooling. It is so hard for her to feel comfortable. Dad’s eyes are getting worse. We live close together all the time.”
When he started school in Australia, Rami quickly moved to the top of his class.
Rami and his family had no English – spoken or written – when they arrived in Australia. Despite this, Rami thrived, consistently scoring As and Bs. It is common for young people like Rami to lead the way in learning their new language. They act as interpreter for their families, making decisions and arrangements.
Rami was excited about the prospect of going to university. He was ready to pursue his dream of becoming an engineer, earning a wage to support his family.
But with mum and dad so unwell, and his brother distressed, troubled and unable to leave the house, Rami had to skip school more and more.
The demands on Rami, 24/7, were extraordinary. He missed so much school, his English language skills slowed, and his good results dropped. He missed 75% of his classes. He was failing through lack of attendance. It’s a common outcome for young carers. They suffer a substantial negative impact on academic achievement from time spent caring for others.
“I want to do the best thing for my family. I left school to care for them and find a home.”
“In my culture, we are close to our family. I take my parents to appointments, I do the cleaning, arrange the housework, I look after them, just as they looked after me.”
Rami is a bright young man with a passion for learning, exceptional skills in mathematics and chemistry. But he has left school, put his own wellbeing and ambitions aside, to care for his family.
The family survives in temporary accommodation, moving so often, they even lived in the back of a church for six months, in two tiny rooms, because they had nowhere else to go.
An ARA Case Worker can work closely with Rami to connect him with services and help find permanent accommodation, but not without your help. We need funds from ARA’s Emergency Support Service to allocate Rami a dedicated case worker, above and beyond basic funded hours. We rely on the kindness of supporters like you to raise these funds. I do hope you can help us make a difference.
Over the past five years, around 30% of ARA’s clients have been under the age of 24. Even those who are not caring for their parents’ health are providing other support like interpreting, accompanying them to appointments and helping with technology.
Young refugee carers like Rami are full of energy and love. They want to care for their loved ones, but neglect their own needs. They also take on greater responsibility – tasks that adults would not normally expect from their children. Many young people have their own traumas to work through, but in situations like this, will bury those traumas so they can focus on supporting their family.
An ARA case worker can take the pressure off Rami and help search for a suitable home, attending inspections and advocating with real estate agents and landlords, especially for disability supports.
Winter nights are coming fast, and this family needs a place that is warm, dry, safe and importantly, permanent – within just two months. Rami is becoming desperate for help. Your compassionate gift will help us work with Rami and his family until we have found them appropriate accommodation. Please, will you help?
Rami is the main point of contact for everything, and recently the stress became too much. Rami and his dad had a terrible argument. Devastated, he walked out, and stayed with a friend for four nights. But Omar called, and pleaded with him to return. “I’m sorry, please come back. We need you.”
ARA’s Emergency Support Service can provide additional hours for a case worker to advocate for complex care pathways, like NDIS connection and assessment for the family. These extra case worker hours, above and beyond ARA’s basic funding, can only be funded by generous donors like you.
With your support, ARA can step in for families like Rami’s who have no safety net, and no one to turn to. Will you please send an urgent gift today?
I’m sure that like me, your heart goes out to this kind, gentle young man. Will you be the person Rami can lean on? Will you give a generous gift towards ARA’s Emergency Support Service and help Rami find a home for his family?
Australian Refugee Association
P.S. With only a few weeks left in their current temporary accommodation, Rami’s situation is desperate. Will you please send a generous gift before 30 June and help Rami find a place to call home
*We change names to protect the privacy of our clients