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No child should live in a tin shed at Christmas

Your donation will help more families who come to us in crisis; hungry, scared and without a safe place to sleep.

Erica and her three children didn’t have a choice.

Your donation can help provide the basics that we take for granted-like a real bed, a safe place to sleep and regular meals-to children who are homeless this Christmas.

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Erica and her three children didn’t have a choice.Your donation can help provide the basics that we take for granted-like a real bed, a safe place to sleep and regular meals-to children who are homeless this Christmas.

Erica* was in a violent, abusive marriage and faced an unimaginable dilemma. Stay with her abusive husband or take her children and run-with nowhere to go?

Erica moved her family to a women’s shelter but the peace was short lived as her husband was able to track the family down. The pressure of living in constant fear meant that Erica needed to move again.

In her determination to escape, Erica moved further away to a new city to build a life where her kids would be safe.

With booming demand for rental properties, it’s very difficult for a single mother of three to find a safe home for her kids. Erica had no option but to move into a property she knew she couldn’t afford. Because the alternative was living on the streets.

The children had a roof over their heads, but with all her money being spent on the rent, Erica didn’t have enough money for food. Her children went to school without lunch.

“I used to go to the butcher’s and buy chicken wings. They were cheap and I would cook some of those with a big pot of rice to try and fill the kids’ stomachs,” she said. “It was the only meal they would have all day and it wasn’t enough.”

No child should go without the basics like food or somewhere safe to stay. A single meal a day wasn’t enough and the kids were getting sick. The family’s situation became even worse when Erica fell behind on the rent and was facing eviction.

Erica’s eldest daughter Olivia was aware of how dire the situation was and did something no child should have to do. She asked her school friends if they had somewhere for her family to stay–even a shed or a garage would do.

Olivia’s best friend told her mother and they compassionately let Erica and her three children share their food and let them sleep in their garden shed.

No family should have to sleep in a cold, dirty shed but the alternative was living on the streets and Erica was grateful for this offer given out of compassion.

When a Wesley Mission caseworker was alerted to this situation, we knew something had to be done immediately.

The team at Wesley Accommodation Support for Families were able to move Erica’s family out of the tin shed and into a crisis accommodation unit straight away.

Wesley Accommodation Support for Families is more than just a bed and a safe place to stay. We’re able to provide food and personal items to meet people’s immediate needs. When families can receive the intensive, personalised care they deserve, they can rebuild their lives and feel confident about a better future.

Erica has had help accessing medical care, help getting the kids back on track with their schoolwork and has been a part of playgroups and parenting groups to support her in strengthening the family’s relationships and become part of a community again.

Erica’s own words tell you how much your support of Wesley Mission means to her.

“I can finally sleep. Not worrying about what will happen or what we will eat the next day or what I must do to keep us going. I’m so much more calm and relaxed.”

Your donation will help more families who come to us in crisis; hungry, scared and without a safe place to sleep. Please donate today to help provide toiletries, clothes, hot meals and crisis accommodation for children and families who are homeless due to no fault of their own.

*Names and photos have been changed to protect privacy.

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