Hope Newsletter Autumn 2019

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Driven To Find Strength For Jan*, losing a partner to suicide seemed like the cruellest blow life would serve. “I thought that I needed to be taken care of by others. But I was weak and tended to be victimised by them,” Jan said. At her most vulnerable, Jan found herself in a violent and abusive relationship, suffering emotional, social and financial abuse. “I came to realise I was in a vicious cycle. He was a gambler and a drinker, he eventually sponged all my money and I was left with nothing,” she said. When Jan left her abusive partner, she had no money, no support and nowhere to go. “I live on the streets in my car and with my dog,” Jan said. Desperate for help, Jan reached out for support. It was then that she found BaptistCare HopeStreet. hopestreet.org.au

“The people here don’t discriminate. HopeStreet are a constant help and support. It is safe here. I know that I can always come back,” Jan shared. Since accessing support from HopeStreet, Jan has grown in her own confidence and self awareness.

Jan’s journey continues. Each night just as she settles down to sleep, she will be moved on and forced to find somewhere else to park and sleep. Thankfully, with HopeStreet offering a safe pit stop along the road, she now has opportunities to connect with services that offer her care and a safe space when needed.

HOMELESSNESS Number of older women experiencing homelessness

5,300 (approx) 2011 Census 7,000 (approx)

Increase from 2012 to 2016 for older women experiencing homelessness* Couch surfing  83% Sleeping in cars  75%

2016 Census Your donation to HopeStreet will provide access to food, a shower and assistance without discrimination for older women like Jan. *Homelessness Australia Report 2017


Autumn 2019


NILS a ‘No Brainer’ Erica* is a bright, friendly Aboriginal woman and a devoted mother to her young son. “I am the only parent and currently unemployed. It is hard doing all the juggling on my own but I got a family who help out.” said Erica. Erica values the love and support that she gets from her family, however, recent moves for both Erica and her sister means that it’s not always easy for the two women to visit each other. With distance an issue, her son starting childcare and her

desire to find work, Erica was worried about how she would get around. She needed her car back on the road; and the funds to make it happen.

really helpful.” shared Erica.

“Aunty Bella got a NILS loan a while back and recommended I get in touch with BaptistCare HopeStreet.” Erica said.

“Once I learnt about NILS I knew that’s what I wanted to do.” Erica enthused.

Erica made an appointment to see HopeStreet NILS Client Coordinator, Keira Ellingwood, someone she knew from her school days. “Having known Keira made it easier to communicate. She explained everything and was

For Erica, getting access to affordable finance through the No Interest Loan Scheme was a no brainer.

Her parting advice to anyone in need of fair and affordable finance is clear. “Take the stress and struggle off paying a loan with interest… You’re losing if you go anywhere else!” she said. *Name changed for confidentiality

Since 2008, BaptistCare HopeStreet has helped thousands of individuals to access affordable and fair finance. Your donation will keep our doors open.


69% No Interest Loans (NILS) 5% Domestic Violence NILS 26% StepUp (Low Interest Loans)



Autumn 2019



The Impact of Stigma Stigma hurts. It isolates and condemns. For women working in the sex industry, it is a roadblock to accessing safe housing, vital services and a sense of belonging. Discrimination leads to rejected rental applications, abuse from others and the pervasive sense that society has judged and defined them by what they do, without knowing who they are. Yiyi* knows this stigma well. When she arrived here from China to work in the sex industry, she felt really alone. “I don’t have friends and I don’t like going out with others. I normally don’t talk to people,” she said. Alone and in a new country, Yiyi knew only a few basic words of English. Stigma stopped Yiyi from accessing basic health services, afraid that people would judge her. When HopeStreet Women’s Services first met Yiyi, she immediately felt accepted and supported, especially with the help of staff who could connect with her in her own language.


“I am so lucky to know your service; sometimes I feel very stressed about work but I know I can talk to someone and get the support I need. I know I’m never judged and I always feel accepted,” said Yiyi. As a result, Yiyi was able to fully engage with Women’s Services. She has found secure accommodation, is up to date with all her health needs and is excited to be attending free English classes. Perhaps more importantly, Yiyi feels part of a welcoming community.

Support without judgement is key to reducing the stigma many women in the sex industry face. Women’s Services offer tailored support with Mandarin and Cantonese speaking social workers. This professional support enables women like Yiyi the chance to address factors that diminish choice and increase the opportunities available to them. Every person deserves to be recognised for more than just their job or life circumstances. *Name changed for confidentiality

Your donation to BaptistCare HopeStreet Women’s Services will help us provide welcoming and non-judgemental support to those who seek it: The stigma felt by women in the sex industry 5% feel comfortable disclosing their job to family or friends Only 2% believe their family would still support them if they were a sex worker 70% strongly believe that society looks down on sex workers hopestreet.org.au/donate

Autumn 2019



How I See Hope In Disadvantage Darren, Food Support Coordinator – HopeStreet Windale, shares what hope means to him and those he serves.

growing numbers of people with emergency relief packs and vouchers. Volunteer numbers increased, and a community was growing.

I joined the BaptistCare team in Newcastle in 2013. Our mission was to establish a community centre and grow our low cost grocery store in the town of Windale.

How do I see hope in disadvantage?

I learned that Windale was one of the most disadvantaged suburbs in NSW. My manager, Scott, explained that there was no hiding from it; Windale is a community living with disadvantage. Yet he was also optimistic. Hope filled. I recall Scott saying, “There is a spirit of hope, resilience, optimism and determination that is alive and well in many towns and suburbs labelled as highly disadvantaged.” When we first opened in Windale, 100 families came through our low cost grocery store every day. We helped

I see clients returning to our centre to socialise and create their own sense of community and family. I see new people coming into our centre and enjoying a free breakfast, or access to a computer with free internet. I think of the individuals who are part of our story: those without a home, who find safety and dignity here; those who are hungry, find affordable and nourishing food; those who are struggling, access No Interest Loans; and those whose lives seem chaotic, who disappear for a time, return and reconnect. I have hope. What I see gives me hope.


1 in 2 of all charities report an increase in the number of people seeking food support


Only 36% of all charities are currently meeting the full needs of the people they support

Source: Foodbank Hunger Report 2018


Autumn 2019



Send Me An Angel Four years ago, Tara Costigan, a valued BaptistCare employee, was murdered by her ex-partner. She was a much loved mother to three beautiful children and had an infectious laugh and a wicked sense of humour. Loved by her family, friends and colleagues, Tara was a victim of the most heinous crimes of domestic and family violence. With the grim statistic that one woman is murdered by her current or former partner every week on average in Australia*, domestic and family violence has been at the forefront in news headlines for quite some time, with significant changes in Government policy, legislation and funding. Already a trusted provider in supporting families experiencing domestic violence, BaptistCare HopeStreet has

been at the frontline for over 33 years. We know lives can be transformed, we see it happen and we believe change is possible, for the future of our communities and our families. Though Tara never had the chance to rebuild her life after leaving her violent partner, through BaptistCare HopeStreet and Tara’s Angels, her legacy lives on. “Tara’s Angels is a unique service. We’re not just focussing on one area. It’s a flexible approach that addresses the whole person in every aspect of their life,” said Danny Guest, manager of Tara’s Angels. The service provides a roundthe-clock personal caseworker for up to two years at no cost for women who have experienced domestic violence while they rebuild their lives.

Your gift ensures that this valuable work continues to support women and children in need. “The Angels themselves share a real passion for helping to empower women and reestablish lives. They fulfil the role of a counsellor, mentor, and guide, as well as connecting women to essential services.” Tara’s Angels has supported over 100 families since it began in October 2016. Sadly, demand for this and other frontline services is high and in growing demand. Please do what you can to help HopeStreet reach women and children fleeing violent and life threatening relationships, by making a generous gift today. * Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia, 2018. 28 Feb 2018.

When you lose one of your own


Autumn 2019


When you lose one of your own Help us reach women and children fleeing violent and deadly relationships.

DONATE NOW hopestreet.org.au/donate

FREE OFFER BE PREPARED We never know when an emergency is going to affect our home or family. Are you prepared should you have a medical emergency, accident or your home affected by a natural disaster? Is all your personal information available in one safe place should you or a loved one need it urgently?

Personal Record Book Provided to you by BaptistCare

BaptistCare is delighted to offer you, free of charge, a Personal Record Book in which can keep a record of your personal details and finances Being prepared gives you the Peace of Mind knowing your personal affairs are in order. Phone Phil Wilson on 0466 775 592 to receive your copy of the Personal Record Book.

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