Getting Out of Here!!!

I've never talked much about where I currently live to my friends - for a reason.

It's a block of 22 flats in West Footscray and I've been here for 15 years now. It has worked while I was bedridden, and for the last 6 years of rehab, but now - I really do feel that I need to get out of here in order to continue to get better.

My neighbours currently include

: an 83 yr old Austrian who proudly claims membership of the Hitler Youth (true or not, he claims it - and has those attitudes)

: a paranoid schizophrenic who is now chemically restrained after he tried to kill the Hitler guy last year using a headlock and a half-brick - but he continues to harass and cause misery for everyone. His behaviour is all sub-law except for the brick incident, which was what did finally get him forced onto medication. He owns his flat, we can't get him out. I have extensive knowledge of body corporate, tenancy and criminal law when it comes to these matters now, unfortunately.

: a parolee flat - all sorts of experiences there. One was thrown off the balcony a few years ago by the police after being found with a 12 year old girl inside his place. The parolee we just had has abruptly disappeared, which means he's gone back to jail.  

: a flat for vulnerable single women - all sorts there, some of whom have been fine, some of whom not so much. The one who painted the flat walls with her own blood was a standout, the poor woman.

There will be a couple of people who will read this on Facebook that will be able to confirm all of this, unfortunately.

The rest of my current neighbours are mostly fine, or are not fine but in a less spectacular manner. Mostly New Australians simply trying to build new lives in Australia. I've gotten to know people from all over the world, and made four friendships that I will always value although those people no longer live here. I've learnt so much, living so close to so many different people.

I'm living in a 33metersq flat which is really dark. I have to have the loungeroom and kitchen lights on, even in high summer.
I moved downstairs from flat 20 two years ago - where the landlord didn't do non-essential maintenance in exchange for cheaper rent so after 13 years there, it was in an awful state. 
My current flat, number 6, is downstairs, has an air-con unit, and was newly renovated when I moved in 2 years ago (although under the same non-essential maintenance agreement). Yes, I know that isn't legal, but one accepts what one must on a disability pension.

Five friends from the block moved me between the flats in a single day and it was absolutely wonderful. I continue to be so very grateful for that because it was the improvement in my circumstances that I needed at the time.


I called in the landlord on my third day here because all the paint was coming off the bathroom walls. It turned out the painter hadn't cleaned them first. 

When we were looking at the walls, and standing a foot apart, he turned around to face me, and put both of his hands down the front of his pants.

I fled, of course. He didn't reappear for 10 or so minutes and I asked him to leave, which he did.

I get a witness now when he comes around, but it's a little stressful. For some reason, he's decided that I was raped when I was five, (???!!!!) and asked me endless questions about the experience - in front of whichever witness I have and just ignores whatever I or the witness say.

Needless to say, the bathroom walls have continued to shed paint. And plaster.

I Want Out!!!

Please, could you help me get out of this situation?

I have done a heap of research. I've decided that I want to move to Bendigo -  a small city NE of Melbourne. I can't go to a smaller town - I don't drive, and smaller towns really do require a car to get around. Geelong is too expensive. Ballarat is too cold for the fibromyalgia.

Moving so far away from my Melbourne friends breaks my heart, but I really need to make a better life for myself. And hey, there's a train between the two!

In Bendigo I can rent a small house with a garden for not much more than I'm paying here. Which is actually kind of mind blowing.

The idea of having privacy is huge. Just last week, a neighbour decided she just had to talk to me in person, in spite of having my text number, so went around the back and stuck her head in my bedroom window, whilst I was in bed.

The idea of having my very own garden where there are no neighbours to drop cigarette butts in the containers (it's in foam containers) or unwind the peas and beans from their trellis, (actually, it's worse but too gross to describe)......I'm loving having my little garden - I started it in February this year and am adoring growing things again, for the first time since I came down with Fibromyalgia 19 years ago.
Going to the Royal Melbourne Pain Clinic this time last year taught me so much about managing the fibromyalgia.  I've gotten so much fitter and stronger, which is just wonderful.

More space! 

Sunlight inside!

--How I came up with $2400 --

It's a bit pie in the sky, but

* I've gotten 12 removalist quotes, just online so far -  2 men with a  truck will cost between $1300 and $1800 to do the move and it might cost a bit more depending on the access to the house I end up with. Those are the budget options, so I'm a bit scared of the $1300 one! Options to pay vary between movers - some want a deposit first, some are pay on the day.

* the train to and from Bendigo to look at places. It's not much, but it's another cost. I am so very glad to have a wonderful friend in Kyneton who is driving me around Bendigo locally and letting me break my trip by staying overnight at her place.

* I haven't given notice here yet,  28 days are required. So I have the prospect of paying double rent (here and my new place).

* If I secure a place, I'll have to pay someone (an Airtasker) to help me pack. $30/hr seems to be the going rate. I've already started, but it's a slow, painful and exhausting process for me.

* Boxes cost a fortune - it seems rather difficult to get free ones anymore. 

* Utility connection and disconnection fees.

* Transport for me and my 3 cats on The Day. I am hoping to find a friend to do that, but I just don't know at this stage.

* Someone to clean this place after I've left for Bendigo

* Weird, one off things - like if the place I get doesn't have built in robes - I can get cheap clothes racks, but they still cost money.

* this crowd funding site is wonderful - but they do have to take a small percentage of donations in order to operate

Government Aid -

As I am on the disability pension, I will able to get a DHS (Department of Human Services) loan to cover my Bond for the new place. I don't have to pay that back - it's held in trust that I don't damage the property.

If I know the address of where I'm moving to early in a month, I'll also be able to get $300 to help with rent or removalist costs (Housing Establishment Fund, also from the DHS).  They allocate funds in the first week of any month


I live fortnight to fortnight on the pension - I can't afford *any* of the above. What costs I have incurred so far, I have used my food money, and eating what I already have because I need to do that anyway for a move - and a few instant noodles - and this is very, very important to me now that I've decided to do it.

I'm going up to Bendigo next week to look at three places. One is available now, two are available at the end of this month. 

Can you please help? I want to be as physically and mentally well as I can, I've come so far.  I hope that you understand, having read the above, that I don't think that I can continue to improve where I currently am. 

And, of course, I would be eternally grateful.

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Megan Hodges 
Maidstone VIC
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