Hope Newsletter Autumn 2018

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Shaun’s Trike Makes Travelling A Breeze Shaun loves the freedom of an open road, the wind at his back, and the opportunity to travel and explore the world around him.

to make it happen... I didn’t want to drain my pension completely.” Shaun recalls.

Yet Shaun has not always felt so free; living with Asperger’s, schizophrenia and anxiety, his world was once much smaller. Uncomfortable in crowds, travelling anywhere by public transport was difficult for him.

He approached several banks for assistance. Unable to secure a loan with any of them, Shaun heard about BaptistCare’s StepUP loans, and discovered the freedom that an affordable, ethical and low interest loan, with manageable repayments, could buy.

Shaun knew he wanted more from life. He had his heart set on a recumbent tricycle; it was a symbol of the independence he was chasing.

It has been five years since Shaun bought his trike, and he has travelled thousands of miles along the NSW coast. Trips can stretch from a few hours to several days.

“I knew it would suit me down to the ground, but I needed a loan

Shaun has also become a champion of fair finance. Sharing his loan story at a recent BaptistCare event celebrating ten years of fair finance, with over eight thousand loans worth $11.5 million provided to people experiencing significant financial distress or exclusion.

Sean enjoys the freedom of his recumbent tricycle


Every day at BaptistCare HopeStreet individuals and

families are being given an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and debt with access to fair finance.

FAIR FINANCE What are our customers’ circumstances?


Receive a Disability Support Pension


Receive a Single Parenting Payment


Have had a microfinance loan previously



Receive Newstart Allowance (job seekers) Receive an Age Pension

Autumn 2018


“Alienation is a

daily reality

for our clients.”

Hope, Home And Humanity For Women more likely to suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder than a veteran returning from war and 98% of them have experienced at least one significant violent event in their lifetime. The Hon Pru Goward MP officially opens HopeStreet Women’s Centre in Darlinghurst

Jess Davidson, Manager of BaptistCare HopeStreet Women’s Services in the Inner City, shares the importance of finding hope, home and humanity at our new Women’s Centre in Darlinghurst. “I work with the best team! Every day they go above and beyond for everyone we serve, living out the truth that our clients deserve the very best of them. We know that our clients are incredible women who are facing tough circumstances. Women who are involved with street-based sex work are HopeStreet.org.au

We have clients who are transgender; facing discrimination, abuse and rejection. Other clients have come from another country; with no support network, they feel alone and unaware of how to access services, or even how to communicate their fears. Alienation is a daily reality for our clients. For them, the stigma and marginalisation they experience often leaves them feeling alone, and ashamed. I will never forget these words shared by a client: “It was the shame. The shame from myself, the shame from others, that’s what really messed me up.” She had survived so many traumas, yet it was the shame of her circumstances which proved

the heaviest burden to carry. I am excited for the future of our Women’s Centre. We have created a home where all can know that we are more than our past, more than our job, more than our circumstances. No matter what has happened, people need reminding that they are loved, they are valued, and they are accepted.” BaptistCare’s HopeStreet Women’s Centre was officially opened in January, by the Hon Pru Goward MP.

WE NEED YOUR HELP Your donation to HopeStreet Women’s Services will provide hope through: • access to a place of safety and the feeling of home • access to a shower, personal hygiene products and clean clothes, • safe exit pathway for those who chose it. HopeStreet.org.au/donate

Autumn 2018



Heartbroken And Seeking Hope

Doug ended up living in a caravan park

When *Doug’s marriage broke down, he was forced to leave the small farming community he was from. He ended up in Dubbo, living in a cabin in one of the local caravan parks. Alone in a new place, Doug faced heartache and loneliness. He hadn’t seen his two daughters for quite some time, and was suffering from the pain and disappointment of the separation from them. He was also struggling with the feelings brought about through the bitter end to his marriage. He initially came to BaptistCare

HopeStreet at Dubbo for food support. But he was also struggling to pay for his accommodation. Clearly under financial stress, Doug received news that his two daughters were coming to visit for Christmas. He should have been excited, but instead he felt ashamed that he had no food, nor money to buy them presents.

was a direct result of the generous support of donors who gave to the HopeStreet Christmas hamper appeal, and is a gift that Doug will remember for a long time to come.

Doug was fortunate that he had a trusted place he could turn to. The BaptistCare HopeStreet team provided him with food, and gifts for his girls. Christmas was now possible for Doug and his children.

Your donation will help us to provide dignity to people and families in need.

HopeStreet’s commitment to partnering with people in need, ensuring they don’t go hungry and can feed their family, is changing lives for people like Doug. The hope and dignity that Doug reclaimed through HopeStreet

“I felt ashamed that I had no food.”

*name changed for privacy



= $30-40


= $50-60


= $60-80




in major supermarkets in major supermarkets in major supermarkets



*2011 Census Data as mentioned in ABC report: ‘Census 2016: Affordable housing shortage in rural Australia has homelessness at ‘crisis point’’

Homelessness Is Not Just A Big Issue In The City

issues leading to homelessness and a unique set of vulnerabilities faced living on the street.

Imagine you’re a woman living in rural New South Wales. You’ve lived and worked on the land your entire life but your partner has died suddenly, or left, or you were forced to leave him. For whatever reason that life is no longer sustainable or safe for you. BaptistCare’s Housing Manager in Goulburn, Jenny King, shares her thoughts on rural homelessness, and the housing struggle that is so real for many older women.

particular skillset isn’t exactly what employers are looking for. You’re staring down the barrel of retirement without a job, savings or super, and it’s terrifying because you realise you’re on the cusp of homelessness.

You try to settle your debts and move into town but the cost of living is beyond your means. Your

For in regional, rural and remote areas, there are fewer services available to help resolve the

The risk of homelessness is high in rural and remote areas, particularly for women, due to a greater likelihood of low incomes, challenges to employment and a chronic shortage of affordable housing.

Despite service providers operating in rural and regional areas, people don’t often know what help is available to them. A strong community presence is critical in reaching those experiencing housing insecurity, especially when they might not have the skills to research and access services on their own. We need to ensure regional, rural and remote communities have the resources and approach required to address homelessness which is occurring at a much higher rate and with challenges quite different to those faced in our big cities.




of those sleeping rough are outside major cities


of those couch surfing are in country towns

There has been significant growth in the number of homeless women over 65


of those in overcrowded dwellings are in rural areas

When we think about homelessness, the images that most readily come to mind are the high-profile Tent City in Sydney’s Martin Place, or the confrontations between police and the homeless at Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station. But in rural and remote areas, the risk of homelessness is high due to a greater likelihood of low incomes, challenges to employment and a chronic shortage of affordable housing.

Autumn 2018



Domestic Violence: More Than Skin Deep *Mikayla was in her early twenties when she met her ex-partner. Vision impaired since birth, and a childhood that included abuse from her stepmother and a lack of support from her father, Mikayla was about to experience further control and abuse at the hands of her husband. His abuse wasn’t obvious though, and Mikayla experienced six years of violence and control that was more than skin deep; social, verbal, emotional, economic and sexual abuse.

When away for work, he demanded that she sleep with video chat on, so he could watch her as she slept. He controlled the household income, giving her a paltry allowance for food, clothing and everyday items, then criticising how she spent it. With a history of abuse and toxic relationships growing up, Mikayla felt trapped. When she did leave with her young son, Mikayla found safety in BaptistCare’s domestic violence housing for 10 months, before being offered

government community housing. During this time she regained her confidence, took up using her cane again, and is slowly rebuilding her life. Mikayla wants to share this important truth: “To anyone who doesn’t know if they’re experiencing or witnessing violence: that saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’, it’s just not true. Violence is just as much one as it is the other.” *name changed for privacy

“Even though I wasn’t experiencing physical abuse, my friends knew how he was and saw his behaviour and the signs and told me months before I should leave.” “In the beginning I didn’t think it was violence, I thought he was being caring. But as time went on, the verbal abuse escalated.” Every day his words wounded. He called her ‘Unfaithful’, ‘A retard’, ‘An idiot’, and worse. He refused to let her use her cane.

Yes! I want to give hope to families like Mikayla’s who are escaping domestic violence Please accept my gift of: $80

I want to make a I will pay by:

$150 Single donation

An amount of my choice


Monthly donation

Cheque / Money order made payable to BaptistCare

Card Number



Expiry Date / Name on Card


9023 2500

HopeStreet.org.au/donate Please mail to HopeStreet, PO Box 7626, Baulkham Hills, NSW 2153.

Signature Email

All donations over $2 are tax-deductible. A receipt will be mailed to you.


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BaptistCare NSW & ACT - ABN 90 000 049 525 NEWS18AU


Give hope to people like Mikayla by sending your gift today.


Friday 4 May 2018, 6.30pm to 11.30pm Marcia Hines Disco Inferno Show

In support of BaptistCare

Friday 4 May 2018

Raising vital funds for women and Doltone House children affected by domestic violence

Darling Island Wharf, Pyrmont

Doltone House Darling Island Wharf, Pyrmont

Visit haloball.org.au for event details