Recently Oscar* an Assisted Boarding House resident wanted $300 to buy clothes including a pair of Levis jeans in particular.
For most people, making these decisions is entirely their own, however for some residents of Assisted Boarding Houses, personal funds are held in trust by the NSW Trustee & Guardian. This is to make sure that daily living essentials such as fees for boarding and lodging and ongoing medications for people defined as having ‘high level support needs’ are always taken care. It is also to make sure that the risks to the person from theft, fraud, or compulsive behaviours harmful to their health and well-being are minimised.
In these cases an annual budget is managed by a Client Services Officer and the resident will make requests for funds as and when they need them. Some residents need support to make these requests as well as go shopping and then provide proof of purchases. Oscar was assisted by the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre’s Community Linking Project team to request the $300 for new clothes and then to withdraw the funds and go shopping
When shopping, we assumed that all jeans marked 34W 32L would be the same and only tried on one pair of jeans. Unfortunately it was discovered the pair that was bought didn’t fit only after they were washed and the tag removed. “Oscar” was very disappointed as $80 was a large chunk of his annual clothing budget.
With Oscar’s consent, I contacted Levis to see if their corporate generosity would allow for a swap or credit. After four short but persistent emails Lesley at Levis Sydney HQ agreed to post out a free pair. When I asked about the old pair, she said just keep it!
So last week Oscar’s unwanted Levis were donated to another boarding house resident living in Marrickville who was delighted to receive a quality pair of jeans that he would be unable to afford himself. Then this week the new pair of Levis arrived at the Centre. When Oscar tried them on they fit perfectly and he was thrilled!
Oscar was very appreciative of the kindness of Levis in replacing the jeans and very grateful that NNC had advocated on his behalf until it was resolved
by Carlos Felix
* Name changed to protect privacy.
** The Community Linking Project (CLP) works with residents from three Assisted Boarding HouseS in the Marrickville area and two New Horizons Disability Supported Accomodations in Merrylands and Lidcome. Residents range in age from late 30’s to mid-60’s and live with complex mental health issues , intellectual disabilities along with various physical health issues.