Double amputee faces homelessness

Thomas’s parents died within four months of each other. Herbrother died in 1969, and both her sisters had died in the last decade.

Thomas was discharged from hospital last month, after having her fibula removed to better fit her prosthetics, in utter despair.

She has looked at between 50 and 80 houses and cannot find anything affordable that will accommodate her wheelchair.

Thomas gets about $620 a week, between ACC payments and the five or so hours a week she works. The payments put her over the threshold for a Housing New Zealand house.

She pays $290 a week in rent and has no savings “except for $2.33”.

Thomas has volunteered for many organisations, including in the disability sector and does not like asking for help.

“I feel so embarrassed and terrible, I’ve never asked for help. I said to a friend on the phone last night I’m about to check myself in to Hillmorton. I can’t handle the stress anymore, I’ll live anywhere.