Jessica Pearce has firsthand experience of what it is like to be homeless and seeking help. So when she recently saw more and more people seeking shelter in Melbourne, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Last Christmas when Jessica was at a hotel over the holidays, the number of people she saw camping out on the pavement was shocking to her. According to Jessica, the sight also made her feel guilty because she didn’t know that the lack of proper housing was a crisis in Melbourne.
The whole street was full of people and some didn’t even have blankets to keep them warm.
Along with her husband, Jessica spoke to the people she saw in order to learn more about their troubles. They had many conversations and what they found out about the situation deeply troubled them. At the time, they simply gave them a few dollars to keep them going through Christmas.
She was especially troubled by the fact that one of the men she spoke to could not see his toddlers. They both lived with this former girlfriend and he wasn’t allowed to take them without finding himself a home first. After listening to him, Jessica took him back to her hotel and rented out a good room for him for a couple of days. But knowing they could do more, they extended his stay in the hotel for a month so that his kids could come and visit him in a safe place.
But Jessica knew that this wasn’t enough. The man was already having a hard time because he couldn’t find affordable housing and in the process, both his kids were also suffering. At that time she had paid off her mortgage and was looking to invest in property in that area.
A thoughtful gesture
By putting her own interests aside, Jessica started searching for more affordable houses and figured out that she could get four houses for the same amount of money which she was going to use to rent one big place. She bought all four and decided to use the space as a home for those who were unable to find shelter.
This is only the first step in her plans. She’s currently working on both temporary and permanent solutions according to the circumstances of each person. She has also partnered with the government to figure out how to ensure that these houses can stay running.
At the age of fifteen, Jessica’s parents had made her leave home and the only person who helped her find a roof was a teacher who knew of houses which would take in school going teenagers. This kindness that she received inspired her to do the same for others facing similar situations.
What that one house gave her as a teenager Jessica has managed to quadruple with the homes she has opened. Hopefully, those she helps will pass on the kindness and inspire others to do more for their fellow human beings.