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People of Cessnock is a blog by local resident, Rebecca Murray. The project seeks to value the people of her home town by sharing their stories value and raising the profile of people living outside metropolitan areas.

Seventeen

Seventeen

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“I started up with a Masters basket but I’ve upgraded to a trolley.

People tend to look down on the homeless wandering around with trollies … and I don’t like that. People tend to look away - treat you less - but I used to have all of the material stuff.  And I’m still the same person.

I was evicted last July in West Cessnock from where I was living.

My rent was coming out of my Centerlink per fortnight. I had a boarder with me but he wasn’t on the lease and he just decided to stop paying. I tried to fight it. I’d be renting since I was 19, and I’m 48 this year. It blew me away that having a perfect rental history and having perfect inspections every 4 months doesn’t mean ‘jack’.

They only gave me 21 days to get out. Couldn’t get out. I’d been blacklisted. I had nowhere to go to put my belongings. No car to move my belongings. And I couldn’t afford storage. So, bang. When the Sherriff came everything was still there and I lost it all. I don’t have clothes. I don’t have anything.

I’d like to know where it all ended up.

I’m sleeping in a car wherever we camp. We’re staying out at black creek. It’s good. It’s sheltered from the elements, but it’s cold. In the summertime I could do it but wintertime…it’s freezing. Hunter Hands of Hope have been providing us blankets. They keep saying, “Do you want this? Do you want that?” I felt bad saying yes all the time.

Do you know what I’d like to have? A little spot where we can meet and just come and share; people like me and people of the town. The good, the bad, the ugly … the whole bit. Then I could speak. And each individual would have that right. That probably would cost money and hiring the hall and that, but I’d love to speak to people. And we wouldn’t have to be strangers. And we could make it a ritual to get together once a month. Get a coffee. Have a yarn. Just talk to each other.

Cause I miss people. That’s what I miss the most.”

Eighteen

Eighteen

Sixteen

Sixteen