Donate to AnglicareSA’s Turning Point program and help South Australian families with young children facing homelessness.
When AnglicareSA met the Meyer* family of seven they had been living in a tent for six months.
Cathy and Russell Meyer felt as though they were living the dream. Blessed with five children under the age of seven, life was happily chaotic. With four of their children living with disability, their beloved therapy pets made all the difference.
Unexpectedly, Cathy and Russell received notice that their rental lease would not be renewed. The couple applied for more than 200 rental properties without success – around 40 families were often competing for the same home.
With no friends or family to fall back on, eventually they were left homeless. This all impacted heavily on Russell’s mental health, so taking matters into her own hands, Cathy sold their furniture.
Cathy bought a tent, sleeping bags, air beds and moved the family to a caravan park. The first couple of nights were an adventure for the children, but the novelty soon wore off.
Tensions slowly built. The living space was crammed. The children missed their toys. The two eldest children began to fight. They missed their friends and didn’t understand their living arrangement.
Before long, a wild dust storm and heavy rain saw the caravan park become a muddy mess. There was no way to keep the tent clean – the children’s school shoes were ruined. The true state of their finances hit home when they couldn’t even afford to buy new school shoes.
Russell, who had always seen himself as the family breadwinner, was crushed by their financial struggles. Without warning, he went missing late one night – later found in hospital. He had checked himself in after breaking down and feeling unable to cope. Cathy was blindsided by the seriousness of Russell’s condition, but continued to search for a home for her family.
AnglicareSA support workers started visiting Russell daily, learning about his situation and ensuring he received the support he needed. Then, the family finally received some good news. They were offered a home in AnglicareSA’s Turning Point program.
After 446 days of homelessness and 454 unsuccessful rental applications, the world was finally lifted from their shoulders.
Through being able to spend time together in their own Turning Point home with their therapy pets and receiving financial counselling, the family slowly recovered.
Three months later and two days out from Christmas, the family secured their own private rental. It became a festive season to remember and a sign of more good things to come.
The family are now planning a move to rural South Australia where Russell has secured permanent employment and a house with a huge yard for the therapy pets.
“I don’t know where our family would be today without the help. I’m certain I would have lost my husband and even my kids,” Cathy said.
“I can’t wait to move to the country. I have hope and my husband is bursting with energy and enthusiasm. I’ve never seen him like this and I’m so proud of our progress.”
Historically, families like Cathy and Russell’s have been forced to live in emergency motel accommodation where there is no cooking or washing facilities, pets are prohibited, and families are forced to share beds. This is what makes Turning Point a unique support service in South Australia.
Without your generosity, the outcome for Cathy’s family would be very different. Their story is a shining example of why we are so grateful for your support.
it is only with your support that our Turning Point program can continue to help families like Cathy’s tackle homelessness. Please consider donating today.
*names and identities have been changed to protect privacy.
AnglicareSA’s Turning Point program provides families who are experiencing homelessness and in crisis with a fully furnished home to help them get back on track. They can simply move in for up to three months and focus on their needs. Support workers help them find employment or training, access financial support and keep the children engaged with school. When they’re ready, families can take some of the furniture and other items to help them set up their new forever home.
Over the last three years the program has provided a safe and secure place for 106 families to live. In the last 12 months, 60 South Australian children under the age of five, including newborns, would have been homeless if not for the program. So far, the vast majority of families who have come through Turning Point have gone on to secure permanent housing, and in two cases, to purchase their own home.
The program actively cultivates independence, financial wellbeing and self-sufficiency. The community is stronger, with fewer South Australians at risk of experiencing homelessness.
It is only with your donation that we can keep our homes furnished and have support workers ready to help the next family in need.