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Chris Thirkell

Lived Experience Speaker

Christine Thirkell

Chris is a graduate of the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP), Peer Education Support Program (PESP). She has been using her homeless lived experience expertise in her role for 8 years now. She is still part of the program, presenting, advising, educating and consulting with various services and councils. During this time she has sat in working, committee and reference groups. She has also worked on many co design projects.

When I was 47 I was employed part time, a parent of a 7 year old and carer for my father, but found myself homeless due to partnership breakdown. I could find no affordable housing and ended up couch surfing with my daughter. My daughter and my ex couch surfed whilst I was looking after my father fulltime, taking leave without pay and ending up sleeping in palliative care next to my father. Just before he passed away my mother (67, also employed but homeless) and I decided the best way to find a rental is if we (Mum, my daughter and myself) moved in together as we would have two incomes. We now share a rental.