Jono’s living arrangements was less than ideal before moving into his SDA apartment. “I wasn’t satisfied with my place at the time, mainly the support workers situation. I wanted to hire my own. I wanted to live in the city but thought it was a pipedream. In 2016, I finally moved into my very own space. There was a range of emotions. It was an overwhelmingly exciting, yet scary experience. I went from receiving around the clock care at home from Mum, to having 24/7 support where I could text staff when I required assistance and they’d be there.”
For Jono, location was everything when deciding where he wanted to live. The phrase “it’s all about location” rings true in this case. “I couldn’t have picked a better spot to live for myself. This brand-new apartment is in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. It’s only a two-minute walk to Southern Cross Train Station and multiple trams, so getting around is very accessible, which is a huge consideration for me when looking for a home.
Convenience and accessibility is everything, especially for a person in a wheelchair. All the necessities are close by, and I can also readily enjoy my favourite hobbies, like attending sports games (football, ice hockey, basketball), playing poker and trying new food. The city is truly a hub for the best of these things. I don’t typically attend gigs, concerts, or events, but I’ve developed a newfound eagerness to check some out in the future.”
"I'm so happy to finally be where I am. They say it's about the journey, not the destination, but as I write this in my beautifully customised apartment, I'd say the destination trumps all."
Living in his new apartment has not only allowed Jono’s Mum to revert in her role as ‘mum’ again, but it has provided endless benefits to Jono’s lifestyle and wellbeing. “The atmosphere feels different; it’s like a community of people from all backgrounds. I no longer feel excluded or tied to a single way of living due to my disability. I have been able to exercise more at both the gym and the pool which has been an amazing advantage. The location has given me easier access to sporting events such as soccer and AFL, which I have been grateful for as it was an immense challenge to watch the games live when I was living in Frankston. I have also been able to hire my own support workers for daily living which has had a massive positive impact on my life as I have choice over who is in my home.”
Jono’s move has also meant he is one step closer to achieving his personal life goals. “My business is my primary goal …more recently over the past month I’ve been super energised and inspired to create content [for my blogs] which has been made easier from living here in my apartment. Another goal of mine is to meet new people and make connections which has been made easier by how accessible my home is [to the socials settings the city offers]. I’m so happy to finally be where I am. They say it’s about the journey, not the destination, but as I write this in my beautifully customised apartment, I’d say the destination trumps all.”
Jono – VIC tenant