Winter Appeal 2021
Brooke* never thought it could happen to her, but it did.
“We were homeless, but no-one knew – I hid it, I didn’t even tell my closest friend because I felt so ashamed,” Brooke says. “Five years ago I never would have dreamed this is where I’d end up.”
Read her story
Brooke is not alone. Despite the positive news about Australia’s economy lately, many are struggling. The JobSeeker Coronavirus supplement for people looking for work has recently ended and single parents like Brooke are now trying to get by on just over $47 a day1. After paying their rent, some people have just a few dollars left to cover all their other bills, from power and heating to groceries. Meanwhile, rents are rising quickly.
This increase in people needing help for homelessness and hardship is putting enormous pressure on services like ours. Waiting lists are growing for emergency relief and for homelessness support, like crisis accommodation, affordable housing, outreach and support. As winter comes, people’s circumstances will become very bleak if they don’t have a proper roof over their heads. Your kindness has the power to help people in a crisis like Brooke and her daughter Abby.
How your gift can help
$80 can give a family a week of essential groceries so they don’t go hungry after a job loss.
$230 can pay for meals and a warm bed for two nights for someone who has lost their home.
$805 can provide a week of accommodation, meals and support to someone who lost their job and their home because of COVID-19.
At Wesley Mission, through the loving generosity of people like you, we can provide wrap-around services empowering people to escape homelessness. Homelessness can happen to anyone. Often, it’s unseen, hidden by people who feel embarrassed by their need. Will you give today, so Wesley Mission can be there for those facing this winter in crisis and without secure shelter?
Click here to read her story
When Brooke’s partner passed away unexpectedly along with bitterly grieving his loss, she was suddenly facing serious financial difficulties because he had been the family breadwinner.
Additionally, Brooke suffered a back injury requiring spinal surgery which meant she could no longer work. Alone and unemployed, Brooke felt like she was free-falling. She did her best to scrape the money together to cover her rent and all the bills. But soon she was missing due dates for payments and the amount she owed rose higher and higher. No matter how careful she was, she couldn’t manage to catch up.
Finally, one day, an official-looking letter arrived. Brooke opened it fearfully and her heart stopped when she realised it was an eviction notice. To her devastation, she had no choice but to move with Abby into their car, in the coldest months of winter.
Brooke parked near a local park where there was a public bathroom they could use. One night, a man tried to break into the car and they were both terrified. To calm Abby’s worries, Brooke would pretend everything was fine, a smile on her face while she wept inside. Abby had to dress for school in the car and Brooke often dropped her off without breakfast because they could barely afford any food. The shame Brooke felt because of their situation made her afraid to ask anyone for help. “We were homeless but no-one knew – I hid it, I didn’t even tell my closest friend because I felt so ashamed,” Brooke says. “Five years ago, I never would have dreamed this is where I’d end up.”
With help, Brooke was able to get her life back together. Unable to work because of her disability she survives on Centrelink payments that don’t cover any extras - but she was managing and happy in her home with Abby. When she called on us recently she was in deep distress and feeling like there was no way out. An urgent repair costing thousands of dollars meant she was far behind on her rent. She was terrified that she and Abby could soon be homeless again, with winter approaching fast. With help like yours, the very next day we could provide Brooke with two grocery vouchers, so she and Abby could have some proper meals. We also paid their rent arrears in full, to make sure they could keep their home.
“I’m so grateful for Wesley Mission’s help. They are life-savers,” Brooke says. “If not for them, we
might be out on the streets by now.”
1 JobSeeker Payment - How much you can get - Services Australia. Based on a single parent, with a dependent child or children on a maximum fortnightly payment of $667.50 from 1 April 2021
* Names and photos changed for privacy.