Every day she manages the needs of her family of five: juggling school runs, caring for her baby, balancing the household budget and finding ways to get fresh and affordable food. About three years ago, Tara discovered BaptistCare HopeStreet and its low-cost grocery services could provide her with nutritious and affordable food and importantly, the savings she needs to cover her weekly bills. “It’s part of my weekly shopping routine. I go in for the fresh delivery of milk, bread, fruit and vegetables on a Thursday morning. The quality is really good and they are open to anyone; there are no exclusions,” Tara shares. “On a good week, I save $15 to
$20; that’s a whole week of baby formula!” “I have always looked for ways to save money. Until I met my partner five years ago I was a single parent and it was difficult to manage. I learned to make money stretch further. And now it is even more important, with three growing kids!” said Tara.
– we can help before that, and make sure that the cycle of unpaid bills and struggling to make ends meet doesn’t continue.” In 2017, Craig and HopeStreet’s affordable food team across NSW provided 46,218 meals and 7,167 food vouchers.
Tara would like to see an increase in the number of young people who access HopeStreet to source affordable food. “It’s too late when you have dug yourself into a hole. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Go in there and don’t feel like a less-fortunate person because of finances. It is not a desperate thing to do. It’s smart,” Tara said. Manager at HopeStreet in Newcastle, Craig Budden, agrees. “So many people that have come to us don’t end up at HopeStreet until it’s the very last straw
THE HIDDEN CRISIS NEEDING HELP
Australians experience food insecurity at least once a month.
Australians are turned away every month by charities unable to assist.
2 in 5 households experiencing food insecurity are families with dependent children, of which 89% are below the age of 12.
Foodbank 2017 Hunter Report
Tara is a self-declared saver who hates waste; she is a mother of three children aged from 1 to 14, and lives in the Newcastle area.
“...children cannot just
figure it all out
Helping Children Break Free Lesley Robson knows the importance of early intervention when it comes to transforming the lives of children who have been impacted by domestic violence. Below, she shares the importance of helping children break free from the trauma of their past, so they can live lives free from violence and have a future filled with potential and hope. “In my role as Manager of BaptistCare’s Domestic Violence Supported Accommodation I see, too often, the damage done to children who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence. When their mother leaves the domestic violence situation, they are often forced to leave everything behind. Clothes, toys and home comforts would only weigh them down. This is not moving house; this is escape. When these children arrive at our supported accommodation, they have nothing. They are confused, frightened and traumatised. hopestreet.org.au
Like all children, they are sponges and learn through observation and copying. Yet their early experiences have robbed them of healthy relationship models and they bring the behaviours they have witnessed into their interactions with others. They may be silent. They may be afraid. They may be violent. We know that children cannot just figure it all out for themselves and bounce back. We have seen the difference that we make when children start to work through what they have experienced, towards healing. We believe the earlier we can intervene in a child’s life, the more opportunity they have for a bright future. We are blessed by the generosity of donors whose gifts provide both financial and practical support to our domestic violence accommodation and support services. These gifts enable our counselling and group programs to transform the lives of both
women and children; allow our supported accommodation to offer safe spaces for healing; and help deliver care pack of toys, toiletries, books and clothes to families who have to start again from scratch. I am so fortunate to work with a caring team of specialist children’s counsellors whose purpose and heart is to heal the trauma in these young lives. Even when our hearts are breaking for these little children, we know that it is worth it.”
HELP THESE CHILDREN BREAK FREE Your donation helps us support children through the trauma by providing: • Art therapy • Creative projects • Specialist children’s counselling • Early education support • Care packages of food, clothing and toys hopestreet.org.au/donate
Connecting Communities With No Interest Loans low incomes.
Our HopeStreet teams understand the needs of those around them because they live locally in the communities they serve and work hard to build trust. Keira Ellingwood, BaptistCare HopeStreet Client Coordinator in the NSW Northern Rivers, works closely with her local Aboriginal community to provide access to safe finance through low and no interest loans for those struggling with debt, unexpected expenses and the pressures of keeping family and finances together on
Since joining the HopeStreet team, Keira has built connections with scores of people and their families, 40% of whom are from Aboriginal backgrounds, each turning to her as a trusted sister in the community. She offers a friendly ear, practical support and ongoing financial education. “It was quite slow to start off with,” she said, referring to the take-up of No Interest Loans (NILS) in the area. “But in saying that, Grafton is a small town and I know everyone. My mum is really well known in the Indigenous community and everyone knows her, so everyone knows me.” “There are multiple issues that surround Indigenous communities when it comes to accessing finance. It can be very difficult for most people to get a bank loan and that is the
biggest thing. Being able to get a safe and affordable loan is what brings them to us. It’s just word of mouth that brings people in – that’s how it works in Grafton,” said Keira. Your donations to HopeStreet are helping to keep our doors, arms and ears open to people who are experiencing financial hardship, giving them a hand up as they work towards building financial resilience and breaking the cycle of poverty and debt.
CLOSING THE GAP 25%
of HopeStreet NILS clients across NSW & ACT are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
of HopeStreet NILS clients in the Northern Rivers Region are from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“It feels more
like my home than any place I’ve lived”
People Like Us It’s been six months since the doors opened at our new building for BaptistCare HopeStreet Women’s Centre in Darlinghurst. In this time, the beautiful drop-in space has become a trusted day-refuge. It is a place of belonging. Within its walls, women experiencing the challenges of homelessness, domestic violence, addiction, social isolation and the stigma of being associated with the sex industry, can connect with each other and our HopeStreet team.
“People like us don’t get to be in spaces like this.” The centre provides women with access to showers, laundry facilities, tea and coffee and hot meals, as well as a dining and lounge space. The home-like and welcoming space gives women access to workshops, counselling and case management support, and provides opportunities for them to contribute to the activity
program and further build their sense of self-worth, belonging and wellbeing. The number of women accessing HopeStreet Women’s Services have increased since the new centre opened, and all are quick to comment on how valued they feel, the sense of peace they have and how it feels like home.
“This is the only service that treats me like a human being...” HopeStreet’s Women’s Services and new Women’s Centre
is as much about providing practical support to those who access the drop-in centre, as it is about empowering them to feel connected with others; competent and capable; accomplished in problem solving; as well as sensitive and responsive to the needs of others. As a drop-in centre it is more than a building; it is home and, for women who have experienced trauma and systematic oppression throughout their lives, it may well be the first true home that they have known.
Thanks to you
THIS YEAR YOUR DONATIONS HAVE HELPED WITH:
Open House Visits
Women attended workshops and events
Contacts with women through programs
Cathy, Come Home OCD, Cathy was now struggling with drug addiction and was suicidal. In a final blow, her ex-partner took their boys.
“I’d be dead if I hadn’t turned up to HopeStreet.” Cathy* is one of the many thousands of Australians experiencing homelessness as a result of complex issues. Diagnosed with depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) at 13, Cathy received little support from her family, was bullied at school, dropped out, and felt hopeless about her future. For a time, motherhood changed that. Cathy was a happy wife and mother of two girls. However, the trauma of untreated mental illness had led to substance abuse. Her husband knew some of her past, but she kept this aspect to herself. “I wasn’t being honest with him or myself…” Cathy said. Over time their marriage broke down.
Now alone, living in her car and often sleeping on the beach, Cathy carried a weapon for security. Thankfully for Cathy, at her lowest point, she found her courage and came to HopeStreet. She discovered a community where she could gain support without judgement.
They shared custody and care of their girls. A new man entered her life and they had two sons. Cathy had been clean throughout her pregnancies, but suffered post-natal depression and then deep grief at the loss of her grandmother. “From there everything spiralled. I used drugs again to deal with the grief,” said Cathy. A further two blows came in rapid succession: the boys’ father left her; and the girls’ father took sole custody of her daughters. She fell behind with her rent, and she lost her home. Homeless with two little boys, still battling depression, anxiety and
Through your generous gift, HopeStreet can continue to provide people like Cathy with hot meals, blankets, personal care items and a comfortable space in which to begin addressing key issues in their lives, in their own time. The road to HopeStreet is a complex one, and healing doesn’t happen overnight, but with the help of donors like you who support our HopeStreet team, Cathy is no longer walking it alone. *Name changed for privacy
Yes! I’d like to help fight homelessness and give hope to women like Cathy. 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 NEWS18WI
â€œI became HOMELESS with two little boysâ€?
Your gift this Winter will go straight to providing hot meals, blankets, personal care items and so much more.
Please donate today
HopeStreet Locations Dubbo Wellington Penrith Western Sydney
Mayfield Wallsend Windale Central Coast Inner City Bankstown Campbelltown Port Kembla Warilla North
A trusted place in some of the most vulnerable communities offering hope to people living with disadvantage and distress.