Lost in Translation: Farhana’s Journey out of Domestic Violence Farhana had a dream of building a future in Australia with her first born child and husband far from her native Bangladesh. For a time, the dream worked, and their second child was born as a new citizen of her adopted country. Sadly, her dream didn’t last and Farhana found herself living as a victim of domestic violence. Without a support network of her own, Farhana was forced to escape with her two young children finding emergency accommodation at a local women’s refuge. For a time this was a safe place but it wasn’t long before her husband found out where she was. Farhana’s situation was that of desperation before hearing about BaptistCare HopeStreet’s Supported Accommodation Program for women and children experiencing violence. Thanks to the generosity of HopeStreet supporters, they were able to provide a safe home for Farhana hopestreet.org.au
and her children, with emergency packs of clothing, food and toys; continuing support and counselling; and the security of longer term accommodation. The BaptistCare HopeStreet case workers further assisted Farhana with completing her Independent Visa application, open to women with a background of ‘proven domestic violence’ and assisted with family law proceedings. Since leaving HopeStreet’s Supported Accommodation Program, Farhana continues to connect with other women who have also benefitted from BaptistCare HopeStreet services. They meet monthly as the Boomerang Club, where they find strength and support from each other, united by their shared history. Farhana and her first child have now been granted Permanent Residency in Australia; her hope is for them to become Australian citizens in the near future.
WE NEED YOUR HELP You can make a difference for women like Farhana and their children as they rebuild their lives:
$32 supports group
work for children in our domestic violence advocacy service
$68 pays for two
counselling sessions curbing violent behaviour by men in relationships
ongoing support for our clients in planning for a better future
$150 helps provide safe housing for families escaping domestic and family violence
hopestreet.org.au/donate Spring 2018
A Step Up To Driving Freedom Do you remember when you passed your driver’s license? The ability to go anywhere, any time, opened up a world of opportunities and offered a sense of freedom. Richard remembers it well. Now with restricted mobility, Richard relies heavily on the independence driving gives him. When Richard’s beloved V8 Ford finally “kicked the bucket”, he became housebound and completely dependent on loved ones to get around. Losing the convenience and accessibility of a working car had a massive impact on his quality of life. “I lost my right leg below the knee because of arthritis,” said Richard. “Quite often, I need my car to get to doctor and specialist appointments.” Without a vehicle and on a pension, Richard felt he was a burden on his sons and daughter. “I did try to navigate public transport. I tried to get a bus once, it stops right across the road, but I nearly fell flat on
my face,” said Richard. “It sounds silly.” To our HopeStreet team, it doesn’t. We understand that life has many challenges and, for people on low incomes, a large unexpected expense can be overwhelming. Since 2008, BaptistCare HopeStreet has helped customers like Richard to get back on their feet with the support of no interest (NILS) and low interest (StepUp) loans. “I heard about the StepUp loan program through a friend,” said Richard. “I went to see our local BaptistCare StepUp Coordinator, Terri, and she helped me a lot. In no time, I was able to get the loan and get the car my wife and I now own,” said Richard. Richard received a three year StepUp loan of $3000, with repayments of around $20 per week. “The loans are very reasonable. The repayments are really good. Even on a pension, I have no trouble,” said Richard. Importantly, Richard has regained his independence and remains
an active member of his community soccer team, cheering and mentoring players from the sideline. Through the generosity of our donors who support our HopeStreet teams, we are able to help people like Richard live life to the full again. Whether helping someone access fair finance, affordable food or other support services. WHAT HAS TEN YEARS OF FAIR FINANCE MEANT FOR OUR CUSTOMERS?’
Over 590 Washing Machines
Cars Back on the Road
HAVE YOU EATEN TODAY? The average Australian family, with children spends weekly on food and drinks. aged By comparison, every year of population are hit by hard times and unable they need. the to 652,000 receive and
from agencies each month, of those are .
While many of us are enjoying smashed , double shot chai and visiting local food and cafes, food. are going families living on the Theyâ€™re to pay their rent, their or gas bill, and needing to put petrol in the . are skipped, cheap food without nutrition fills become scarce. the gaps, and fruit and This is modern . It is food distress. And it is affecting people who are . Seniors on pensions, . People are coming to and families in hungry and seeking relief. Data from Foodbank Hunger Report 2017
IN 2017 HOPESTREET PROVIDED 46,218 MEALS AND 7,167 FOOD VOUCHERS. WE PARTNER WITH PEOPLE WHO NEED FOOD IN THEIR PANTRY AND A MEAL IN THEIR STOMACH.
Seeking Joy In The Saddest Places Elizabeth Hukins, Manager of Macarthur Community Services, shares the story of Tom, a regular presence during her four years at BaptistCare HopeStreet’s drop in community centre in Port Kembla. Here street-based sex workers, people who are experiencing homelessness, and those living on the margins are offered support, connection and hope.
homelessness, poverty, mental illness, addictions and disabilities is tough. Really tough.
“Inevitably, when asked about my work at HopeStreet, people are prepared to hear stories of sorrow, hardship and despair. And those stories certainly come to mind pretty quickly.
He is one of the many who drop in and find comfort at HopeStreet. And this is why I have hope, for I have no doubt Jesus is present and has a gentle hand on all of our shoulders.
But there is a paradox in disadvantage, because stories that are full of adversity and hardship are actually stories of strength. They are stories of courage. Of hope. And of joy.
This is what I see, and this is why I have hope, because despite (or maybe because of) what we witness each day, the heartache, the struggles, people living in distress and on the margins, I still have hope that life transformation can happen for the people we work with each day across all of HopeStreet’s community centres and services.”
We work with people who are living along a continuum that stretches from chaos to some measure of stability. Living with complex needs such as
Tom is our resident joker. He comes many times a week and has done so for years. He is nearly 80, lives in a boarding house and has no family that we know of. He comes, drinks cups of tea, tells bad jokes and then he goes back to his lonely room until the next day.
HELP PEOPLE LIKE TOM FIND JOY IN THE SADDEST PLACES Your donation will help some of the most lonely and vulnerable people in our communities through providing: • A welcoming & safe drop in space • Compassionate, practical care & support • Help with housing needs • Opportunities to address personal & mental health issues • Assistance in dealing with drug & alcohol dependence • Counselling to develop independence & resilience. hopestreet.org.au/donate
To be loved. To seek joy in the
saddest places... To try and understand.” - Arundhati Roy, The Cost Of Living
Sarah’s Story Sarah always knew her mother loved her. She remembers the safety of being tucked up in her mother’s arms even while her mother battled with alcohol dependency, often making life unstable. “There were the days when I’d wish Mum bought groceries instead of grog. Going to bed on an empty stomach, so often, is a sensation that’s hard to forget,” said Sarah. When she was five, a family friend began to sexually abuse Sarah while she and her siblings were in his care. Her mother had no idea. Sarah’s schooling reflected her turmoil. “I’ve never felt like I’ve fit in anywhere. I never had any friends.” At sixteen, a group of older girls took Sarah in and for the first time, she felt accepted. In time, the girls introduced her to their secret hustle. “On weekends, they made money by sleeping with men,” said Sarah. “And while I wasn’t sure, the thought of not having to go hungry and having some
“I felt safe and at home. Here, I don’t get judged.” money helped me through my first time.” Sarah soon found herself in a vicious cycle, isolated and lonely. A story all too common for women whose journey leads to sex work, self-medicating with drugs and alcohol; needing the work to pay for it; dropping out of school; periods of homelessness; multiple rehab attempts; limited options after leaving rehab; isolation; loneliness; relapse… Rinse. Repeat. “I felt trapped.” The day she walked into HopeStreet, Sarah was able to relax. “I felt safe and at home. Here, I don’t get judged.” HopeStreet gave Sarah a haven from her tumultuous everyday life. She started working with a
caseworker, Janine*, and together they began to identify what Sarah felt to be her most important priorities in life. Sarah undertook life-skills workshops, counselling and group programs. She found confidence in her skills and strengths; took time to focus on her mental health and work through her childhood trauma. She learned about choice, self-esteem and her personal value. “I decided to look myself in the mirror every morning and tell myself I am valuable and worthy, because I am. But it’s easy to forget,” said Sarah. Sarah now contributes to the same services that helped her, sometimes co-running workshops with the HopeStreet team.
Yes! I’d like to help women like Sarah feel safe, empowered and worthy. Please accept my gift of: $80
I want to make a I will pay by:
$150 Single donation
An amount of my choice
Cheque / Money order made payable to BaptistCare
Expiry Date / Name on Card
HopeStreet.org.au/donate Please mail to HopeStreet, PO Box 7626, Baulkham Hills, NSW 2153.
All donations over $2 are tax-deductible. A receipt will be mailed to you.
BaptistCare NSW & ACT - ABN 90 000 049 525 NEWS18AU
“I tell myself I am valuable and worthy, because I am. But it’s easy to forget.”
Make a difference for women just like Sarah who feel alone and vulnerable. Please donate today
Recognise. Respond. Refer. morethanskindeep.org.au