Builders’ kind act for pensioner in Bondi apartment: ‘It was heartbreaking’ | Englishheadline


Two Sydney builders tasked with renovating a block of Bondi apartments are rallying around an elderly tenant who’s being forced out of her home with nowhere else to go, and no money to her name.

Jarrad Gordon said he first met Lilly when he and his business partner Gary Gild arrived at the Botany Street property on Monday and felt compelled to help her since she was all alone with no support.

Lilly, a holocaust survivor, has lived in the one-bedroom apartment for over 50 years and the thought of being uplifted during the building’s renovation was extremely distressing for her, Jarrad told Yahoo News Australia. She was one of two remaining tenants that are being made to relocate while the renovations are carried out on the block, which could take as long as six months,

“The apartment has all of her belongings, so trying to get her out was extremely hard,” he said. “It’s not safe for her at her age to be in a building that’s being demolished and renovated.”

Bondi builders Jarrad Gordon and Gary Gild from J3G Construction with elderly woman Lilly at Bondi.

Jarrad Gordon (right) and his business partner Gary Gild (left) helped Lilly find suitable accomodation while her Bondi home is being renovated. Source: Supplied

Landlord offers to pay for temporary accomodation

Jarrad and Gary, owners of J3G Construction, liaised with the landlord in New York who agreed to cover the cost of Lilly’s temporary accommodation. The builders took it upon themselves to help her with the move, picking her up and dropping her off at her new residence, at the nearby Meriton Apartments in Bondi Junction on Tuesday.

“I just felt heartbroken for her, just seeing the state that she was living in and not having a single person in her life and no money,” Jarrad explained. “She’s got no family, she’s got no friends. She’s just completely isolated. No one would even know she was alive or if she died.”

Pensior with ‘no money’ forced to skip meals

Lilly said she often skips meals because she can’t afford to eat, and her Centrelink payments “hardly cover her monthly expenses”. Jarrad said the pensioner earns about $900 a fortnight from Centrelink, but a lot of that goes on rent.

“I think she pays $150 to $200 a week, and then she’s got all of our other utilities gas, water, and phone,” he said. “Sometimes she has to go back to Centrelink and ask for a forward payment”.

Bondi Junction apartment block on Botany Road.

The apartment block in Bondi Junction will undergo six months of renovations, forcing Lilly out of her home. Source: Supplied

Over $20,000 raised for elderly tenant

To help cover the cost of food and ongoing bills, Jarred and Gary have started a GoFundMe campaign. The pair were hoping to raise $10,000 for ongoing costs, but in two days have raised over $20,000.

What’s more, the pair have called on the Jewish community in the area to help with ongoing care and assistance. They’ve sought volunteers who can help run errands and perhaps cook Lilly a meal or two. Jarrad’s even arranged a bunch of vouchers from Coles where she shops, so she will always have food to eat.

But the best part of all was arranging to fix her beloved record player which needed a new cord, but Lilly couldn’t afford the $30 needed for a new one so Jarrad bought her one.

“She put a record on and the smile on her face; she was dancing,” he recalled. “To think that something so simple can make such a difference to her”.

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