The following story is a good reminder not to judge a book by its cover. At St John’s Care we have a saying, “Leave your judgement at home”.
Last week a lady came in to the Centre driving in a new luxury car. One of the volunteers who was looking out the window saw the person drive up and thought the lady was here to donate some goods or money to support those in need.
To her surprise, the lady came in with her children and asked for help with food and clothing. The volunteer was confused. This was a good reminder to us all that we don’t know what is happening in the lives of the people who come to SJC.
Lorraine - not her real name - was escaping domestic violence. She had left the family home with two children to escape domestic violence. She was staying in a hostel and was awaiting suitable accommodation.
Unfortunately, their current accommodation is some distance away from where they used to live. The children are traumatised because they want to stay close to their friends and the school they attend. One of her teenage sons particularly is not coping with their current circumstances.
Lorraine wants to make sure that her children have some sort of normality. Therefore she is travelling long distances to take her children to school. This is costing a lot in petrol. Its money Lorraine doesn’t have as she has to pay for hostel accommodation which is not cheap.
She is living off the money she makes by working two days a week until she gets her Centrelink payments.
SJC was able to provide food, Myway cards for them to travel to and from school and other items to assist the family. We also offered them a supportive experience, but we could not meet all the needs of this complex situation. We made some referrals and suggested that Lorraine come and see our Community Worker.
Pasta meals, biscuits, 1 Kg Flour, cooking oils 500ml & 750ml and washing up liquid