Supportive community provides safe haven for Gympie dad

Last updated: 
21 March 2023 2:06PM  
First published: 
21 March 2023 2:05PM

Single dad Jaquob was on the cusp of buying a tent for him and his three young children to live in after his long-term rental was put up for sale by the owner.

He says it was a stressful time as he spent several months looking for a new place in Gympie but in a competitive rental market, he could not secure a home.

"I tried and tried for months (to find a rental) but nothing was coming up. My mates were not able to help," Jaquob says.

Jaquob, a childcare worker, was offered a place at the Gympie Recovery Accommodation Park for him and his daughters aged 6, 3 and 2.

The park provides temporary housing to people impacted by the 2022 floods and people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Jaquob says there is a great community at the park with all the residents helping each other out whenever they can.

"My neighbour Arthur next door will bring in my washing off the line if it's raining.

"I come home from work and expect my washing to be all wet from the rain, and he's taken it down and put it in a sealed container outside my front door," Jaquob says.

"Alan at the top (of the park) makes gifts for the kids.

"Everyone looks after each other. My neighbours are always happy and friendly."

Jaquob has been unsuccessful in securing countless private rental properties.

Ever since COVID came through there has been a problem with finding housing.

"I would like a nice house for the girls, and I would like to buy a house eventually," Jaquob says.

For now, he is content living at the park and enjoying his spare time with his family. Being a childcare worker, he does many activities that he does at work, with his kids at home.

"We have spa days, which I like doing with them to be honest. I like preparing face masks and getting them all ready.

"They also love to help me with cooking the meals," Jaquob adds.

The Queensland Government's Housing Service Centres are here if you or someone you know needs housing help. Call 13 QGOV for your nearest centre or call the Homeless Hotline on 1800 474 753.

A photo of Jaquob Wilcox with his daughters