I received a phone call on Monday from a woman who we will call Lorraine. Domestic violence had led her and her family to become homeless, but they are now living in public housing. As she hadn’t been into the Centre before I advised her to come in
Recently, because of a back injury at work she lost her job and cannot return at the moment. She was unsure how she was going to survive without paid work.
Lorraine visited the Centre on Tuesday and two volunteers and myself assisted her with her complex situation. We collected food, clothing, kitchen items and bedding for her family.
I asked Lorraine if she banked with the Commonwealth Bank. She said that she has been a customer of that bank for her whole life.
The Commonwealth Bank provides their customers who are in unsafe domestic violence situations with access to a Domestic and Family Violence grant. They can receive $1000 in Visa credit to use for a bond on a new place or for alternative accommodation.
A $500 Coles voucher for food and a new ‘little phone’ (which has no location services) for their sim card is also available. This phone protects them from being tracked by an abuser. I helped Lorraine to apply for this grant.
Lorraine had some major bills which were due. She hadn’t been using the services as she had fled the house. Her ex-partner was still living in her old house.
All the bills (electricity, telephone and rental) were in her name and he wouldn’t change them into his name and accept responsibility for them.
Lorraine doesn’t want to contact him. So I suggested that we contact Street Law to see if they could help and made an appointment for her to see them. Street Law said they would be able to support her with this.
Lorraine was overwhelmed by the kindness she received and said she felt able to breathe again.
This is a wonderful example of how SJC uses food, money and in-kind goods which our generous supporters donate.
Most clients don’t need all the services we provide at once. However, Lorraine did, and to receive these items and the care that came with them was life-changing for her.
Required items: Cooking oil, shampoo and conditioner, green, red or yellow dried lentils.
Jason Haines SJC
Programs and Fundraising Manager