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From homeless to blossoming

Tahleha's family are enjoying being in a home of their own.

After on-going tensions at home, Tahleha and her newborn baby were kicked out on New Years Eve when she was aged 17. Initially Red Cross found Tahleha emergency accommodation. She then moved into a family member's house but that arrangement broke down and Red Cross supported her to move into a small unit and then into a larger home when Tahleha was pregnant with Noah.

Red Cross support worker Bec Kruger supported Tahleha in her dealings with health professionals and day care staff around her infant daughter's failure to gain weight. Things went well for a period, however her daughter was admitted to hospital after failing to gain weight. Aged two years she weighed eight kilos, and after a worrying week of tests, Skylah was diagnosed with a metabolism disorder.

Tahleha says while it was another blow, it was a relief to get the diagnosis, and to give her something to work with, and to remove any doubts about her ability to look after Sklyah.

Red Cross continued to work with Tahleha and the health professionals to support the young mum in developing her parenting and nutritional skills. Red Cross also advocated for her in negotiating private rental accommodation.

"Finally everything started going well and last month Skylah was finally discharged from hospital. I think that without Bec's help I'd still be having dramas. They wouldn't listen to me because of my age so it was good to have someone helping me out. Bec stood up for me," Tahleha says.

"Skylah's medical dramas have gone. I haven't got housing dramas. So it looks good…really positive!"

Tahleha says her daughter has blossomed now she has more space and a backyard to explore. She says the secret to her resilience is her kids. "If it wasn't for them I might have given up on everything a long time ago. Every time life has gotten the best of me, I only have to look how far I've come and know that it is going to get easier.