Hey!  I’m Willo.  I’m a single mum, my son Dustin is 7 years old and my daughter Monique is almost 5 years old. I became a single mum in mid-February 2017.  It was not what I set out to do, as most of you will totally empathise with, but it’s what happened.

In February 2017 I packed my car full of everything I could, put my son and daughter in the car (at the time they were 3 months old and 2 years) and my dog, Roxy who was 11 and I drove interstate, leaving a relationship which was for years ill-serving and toxic. I found the only place that I could stay in, that would allow dogs and at short notice and set us up, so the dust could blow over and I could figure out how I was going to take my next steps.

It was s short term rental, 3 months maximum and I figured that was plenty of time to figure those next steps out.  But as the weeks rolled on I found it harder to get my feet.  I was emotionally overwhelmed, physically exhausted and hadn’t really thought about how I would move through it all.  Overwhelming was an understatement.  I went through the rollercoaster of emotions, as well as the legalities as an AVO was put onto their father for continual harassment of phone calls and texts and it was so stressful for me that I had to do something to stop it.  This was a part of the journey I didn’t forsee.

Finding a place to call home, an area to call home was SO HARD!  I got knock back after knock back and it was highly competitive.  Feeling a little out of options and pushed against time, I asked my mum if she could could down as the leaser on paper and say I was living with her and I could pay rent directly to her which they would debit from her.

And with that, I finally got a rental, in a beautiful area.  The difficulty of getting a rental wasn’t because it was unaffordable, it was affordable, but I had no current income, only savings because I sold my business and the place I moved away from I owned so there was no references to use.

After overcoming those hurdles, a new challenge came about.  One that was not anticipated.  Loneliness, social isolation and the stress of doing everything myself.  It was a difficult journey, which I managed to ease through opening up the house I was renting to another single mum.  Through this I was able to get logistical daily support, make a friendship, have another adult to help with my kids if needed and rent and expenses were split.  It sure lighted the load and I started to find enjoyment in life again.  Plus, she had the same needs and I was able to support her just the same.

And this is where ShareAbode was born, at the beginning of 2019 as a way for single parents to create some ease and enjoyment in an often challenging, lonely and financially stressful journey.  And as each single parent finds the ease and joy back into their lives with less financial strain and with company …. those children benefit because a happy and content parent is a happy and content child.

Xxxx Wilhelmina Ford

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