“I thank my lucky stars”: Joanna’s story of near homelessness
Growing up in Ireland and England, Joanna, 72, moved to Australia 21 years ago, where she fell in love with John. Sadly, three years ago John was diagnosed with dementia, and Joanna finished her work as a child care educator to care for him until he passed away in early 2020.
Types of abuse
She was homeless and broken after leaving her narcissistic partner last year. Domestic and family violence includes different types of abuse where perpetrators use behaviours to gain power and control over their victim.
Food goes first living below the poverty line
Bush fires, flooding, job losses due to COVID-19, reduced JobSeeker, and a severe housing crisis in the area.
Winter comfort through loan support
“My mother died in 2014 from a heart attack. Two of my uncles have also died from health complications, one last April from heart and lung disease,” said Trish.
Back to $40 a day for Shane
Shane started working as a labourer after 14 years of extensive hours as a qualified chef began to weigh on him. Two years ago, he was laid off from the hydraulic workshop he worked in, along with a few other colleagues.
Pro tennis star comes alongside Woolloomooloo youth
Louise had a chance meeting with Brian Turton at a homeless shelter where she volunteered in Woolloomooloo. Mental health issues had ended Brian’s hopes of a professional tennis career and he’d been living on the streets for years, estranged from his family and friends.
Violence and lack of housing leave women and children out in the cold
Statistics show that domestic and family violence is the main cause of homelessness for the majority of women and children experiencing it here in Australia¹.
More than just real estate
“I went to different organisations, but because I was still working, they put me in a hotel in Ballina, and I had to pay for that. After not long, I had to go down to a lower standard; I couldn’t afford it. I slept in my car for two days.”
A new course of action and balance
In her mid-twenties, Georgia is clever and quick-witted with a grounding and understanding of life beyond her age. A No Interest Loan (NILS) through BaptistCare HopeStreet has opened up a new direction for her as she faces the challenges of fibromyalgia, an inflammatory muscle and joint disorder, and autism in...
Hello to home-made meals and nutrition
During last year's COVID-19 lockdown in the heart of Sydney city, our HopeStreet Inner City and Women's Centre teams recognised three key needs in the communities we work with.
Witnessing the power of language: Supporting women’s financial and social wellbeing through English classes
Senior case worker at HopeStreet Women’s Services, and native Mandarin speaker, Peggy, shares just how critical language is for migrant women living in Australia who need access to support.
Women and children navigate poverty in escaping DV
The recent research from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) shone a light on the challenges women and children face moving into stable, independent housing after domestic and family violence, saying it’s extremely difficult and sometimes unachievable¹.
When you’re living in poverty you’re in survival mode
We’re not out of the woods yet. It’s been nearly a year since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Aussie soil, and we are still seeing the impacts, not just from a health perspective, but from a position of unprecedented socio-economic change.
The great Aussie BBQ delivering rural hope
The $16,375 funding for HopeStreet Dubbo, granted by the NSW Government Community Building Partnerships program, was recently announced by Member for the Dubbo electorate, Dugald Saunders MP.
Working Connection in Port Kembla
Geoff didn’t voluntarily start his journey at BaptistCare HopeStreet Port Kembla. After being his father’s carer for eight years he was placed on Work for the Dole.
When your visa status defines the help you receive
Here in the city of Sydney, I’ve been reminded of the incredible resilience of humanity. I’ve seen women share the limited food they have, so no one goes hungry. I’ve seen women share accommodation with those who have become homeless. I’ve seen women band together, encouraging each other, and finding...
Life changing loans deliver comfort and joy
For Pauline*, a loan from BaptistCare HopeStreet’s No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) granted warmth, light and comfort.
Everyday angels and the gift of partnership
From support for our local aged care homes through to our HopeStreet services in the local area, and beyond, Canberra Baptist Church continues to journey with BaptistCare and support their local community.
We're not just a kitchen, we're a community
Dealing with the pandemic has brought a different demographic to the tables across all of our HopeStreet locations. People who weren’t struggling in the past are now sitting beside those who have been.
Demand expected to rise with HopeStreet already busier than ever
With more impending Government cuts to individual support on the way, our teams are expecting it to get a lot busier.
Perception change through community connection
Geoff didn’t start his journey here voluntarily however, after being his father’s carer for eight years, he was placed on work for the dole.
Meaningful conversations on mental health
Our HopeStreet Women’s Services research report (released in December 2019) found many culturally and linguistically diverse women working in the city’s lower-end brothels were experiencing poor mental health and high stress levels.
Checking in to prevent harm during GambleAware Week
For Paul*, gambling began as a pleasurable activity that he used to escape work-place bullying. A single father living in the city, Paul successfully raised his son after separating from his wife who experienced addiction. He’s had a long and successful career in finance.
The kids are alright
The youth of our diverse inner-city neighbourhoods are incredibly creative, clever and resilient, however, for young people experiencing socio-economic disadvantage access to opportunity and engagement in education can become a challenge.
Project Eve opens its doors to women experiencing homelessness
BaptistCare HopeStreet’s Project Eve will provide a safe, welcoming and comfortable space for women experiencing homelessness in Mayfield, and open doors for them to receive further support and services.
The Sky is the Limit
Vanessa is a 23-year-old full-time student of the Australian Wings Academy, a pilot training facility at Coolangatta Airport on the border of Queensland and New South Wales. She lives in Tweed Heads.
HopeStreet Windale connecting community in times of COVID
The morning will provide the opportunity to experience live music, participate in art and creativity, and genuinely connect with the HopeStreet team, community, and mental health support workers.
Beyond the statistics - pathways post-violence
Earlier this year, the ABS released new analysis around the characteristics of most recent physical assault incidents. Research showed women were more likely to have been kicked, bitten, hit with a fist or choked when the perpetrator was a male partner compared with another known male (such as family member...
HopeStreet opens Woolloomooloo youth space for Sydney’s inner city youth
BaptistCare HopeStreet’s Youth Space in Woolloomooloo has been established to assist local youth and will provide a much-needed safe space for people aged between 10 and 17 to hang out, meet positive role models, exercise their creativity and receive any support they need to pursue their educational or personal goals.
Responding to COVID-19
In March, Hopestreet received over double the amount of calls than the month prior. In April, that number increased five-fold.
Homelessness and the heart of connection
Nick has kind eyes. He is intelligent, articulate and has a knack for making others smile. This is what makes him so valuable as the first port of call at BaptistCare HopeStreet Inner City, in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo.
Rapid Response Grant fuels emergency relief
The funds have allowed HopeStreet locations at Wallsend and Mayfield to meet the increase in demand during the crisis with emergency relief packages and food support. Watch this film, prepared by City of Newcastle, to learn more.
A worrying silence
For many, home is a refuge, a place of love and respect. For some, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, home is a prison and a place of great risk.
Technology: a new requirement in times of strife
Without laptops or iPads, a barrier appeared and households that had not previously required such a significant expense as laptops and iPads were suddenly at a disadvantage.
5 things I’ve learnt from sex workers
Over my 15 years working with communities, families and at risk individuals, I’ve learnt a lot about conscious and unconscious bias and the impact of stigma. But the most meaningful and influential education has come from the conversations I’ve had with women working in the sex industry.
Families struggle to put food on the table due to COVID-19
Kassim* is one of some two million non-permanent residents not entitled to government subsidies, having arrived with his wife and two young sons from the Middle East six years ago on a working visa.
Food and emergency relief support available now
Eight charitable organisations supporting vulnerable people in Newcastle have shared in $150,000 of Rapid Response Grants from City of Newcastle to overcome challenges posed by COVID-19, including BaptistCare HopeStreet.
Older Australians at risk of homelessness
According to a recent Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) report, the proportion of homeless people aged 65 to 74 jumped almost 40 per cent in the five years to 2016.
Sir William of the Port
Bill is a regular at BaptistCare HopeStreet Port Kembla, a safe space for people experiencing disadvantage or living on the margins to address key issues and get practical help.
Fair finance – it fits in with you
“I am a very private person, and I’m a very proud person, I guess. I’ve never gone to loan sharks or Cash Converters before. It’s why when I did need help I went to BaptistCare HopeStreet,” said Laura.
COVID-19 Update - ‘We hope you are safe and well’.
Over many years, our supporters have been so important in helping BaptistCare HopeStreet to meet people at their point of need, whether domestic and family violence, homelessness, food support, counselling or one of the many other services we provide.
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness impacting a large number of countries around the world, with cases identified in NSW and other parts of Australia.
The damage caused by years of fear
Warning: This story includes sensitive material on domestic violence and loss.
"My priority has always been my child's safety..."
Mental illness had crept its way into Amie’s former relationship with her ex-partner and it continued to be an ongoing issue for him.
Driving Freedom: One mother's journey
It was during those six months of homelessness that Joanie had a car accident, and her trusted transport was no longer.
Women's Services report into migrant sex workers
BaptistCare HopeStreet has released the findings from its Women’s Services division’s first research report on Sydney’s sex industry, providing insights into the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women working in the city’s lower-end brothels.
When drought is but one cause in our farmers’ fight for survival
Farming families across the state continue to face the ‘most severe drought conditions in 120 years of records^’ on top of everything else they encounter in the human experience.
A war on waste to feed those in need
In Australia, nearly four million people experience food insecurity each year and one quarter of these are children. It’s a shocking thought when you consider that in the same timeframe we could fill 9,000 Olympic swimming pools with the food waste ending up in our landfill.
Support Farmers In Dubbo
As reported by the Daily Liberal, BaptistCare HopeStreet in Dubbo is holding a special event on 11 October at Memorial Park, Tottenham for the farming communities of Tottenham and Gulargambone.
I support causes I care about
The service provides women in the ACT who have experienced domestic and family violence with up to two years of post-crisis support through caseworkers, who walk alongside them - mentoring and empowering - with practical and reliable support.
Creating a safe place to land
This includes poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health issues.
When winning is losing out: Gambling wasting our youth
And not just exposed to it… with the convenience of smart phones and betting apps, gambling is now accessible at the tap of a screen. The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation says they are ‘the first generation to be exposed to the saturation of online betting products.’
Breaking barriers leads to choice and belonging for Sydney’s CALD sex workers
In response to this, BaptistCare HopeStreet Women’s Services offer free English classes and employ staff who speak multiple languages so they can deliver services to enhance community, connection, opportunity and choice.
Nurturing mums & bubs through Music+Moves
Delivered in partnership with Eastlakes Youth Centre, Music + Moves brings together a select and intimate group of women and their little ones to create connection through music, support and education in a loving and safe environment.
I didn't decide to become homeless
It’s so common and confronting that our eyes have become trained to slide over each person we see living on the street; we sidestep someone stepping forward with their hand outstretched before we even realise what we’re doing; we avert our eyes when we sense that someone’s gaze is fixed...
Vote Now For HopeStreet's 'My Community Project'
Voting is now open and BaptistCare HopeStreet needs community support for the grassroots programs they have developed, to give people and families a hand up when they need it.
Hope Narratives - an anthology of stories
Jess Davidson, Women’s Services Manager, shares the journey of this stereotype-shattering publication.
My name is Naomi
Despite the hardships, Naomi fell in love with a man living in the refugee camp. She had dreamed of a future away from her past and at the age of 30, Naomi came to Australia to marry and start a new life.
The impact of stigma
Discrimination can also lead to rejected rental applications, abuse from others and the pervasive sense that society has judged and defined them by what they do, without knowing who they are.
It’s a long journey home from homelessness, particularly as the cold sets in this winter
The tragic loss of the man she loved opened Jan up to be abused by another, who robbed her of her worldly possessions and in fleeing him, she found herself living in her car on the streets with her loyal old dog, Shy.
More than a statistic – Tara was one of our own
February 28, 2019, marked the four-year anniversary of one of the most heinous crimes of domestic and family violence; the heartbreaking death of one of our valued BaptistCare employees.
“It’s a leg up, not just a hand out.”
When Lisa was introduced to fair finance through BaptistCare HopeStreet, she had gained access to public housing and was planning to move in. First, she needed to purchase a fridge and some furnishings.
No Interest Loan Scheme a ‘no brainer’
In regional communities, having a strong support network or staying in touch with family and friends is an essential part of belonging and feeling connected.
Heartbroken And Seeking Hope
Alone in a new place, Doug faced heartache and loneliness. He hadn’t seen his two daughters for quite some time, and was suffering from the pain and disappointment of the separation from them. He was also struggling with the feelings brought about through the bitter end to his marriage.
In true partnership with HopeStreet, Alma seeks to understand the community needs for each collection and ensures the church contributions meet these needs, both on time and in abundance.
The Joy Of Owning A Refrigerator
Now, thanks to BaptistCare’s No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS), Lee is the proud owner of a new, reliable Westinghouse fridge.
A Woman’s Strength
Every woman who accesses HopeStreet services has her own story, her own strengths, and her own motivations to bring about change.
How I see hope in disadvantage
A pastor for 16 years, Darren has worked in Newcastle with BaptistCare for 5 years, which launched its new-look premises BaptistCare HopeStreet: Windale in September 2018.A self-confessed Microsoft Excel geek, he lives with his four children and beautiful wife in sunny Newcastle. In becoming part of the Windale community, Darren...
Every day she manages the needs of her family of five: juggling school runs, caring for her baby, balancing the household budget and finding ways to get fresh and affordable food.
Domestic Violence is More Than Skin Deep
For most Australians, bruises and black eyes are the tell-tale signs of domestic violence. But what if every Australian could see the signs of abuse that can run much deeper than physical violence?
Gambling Awareness Week 2018
Responsible Gambling Awareness Week is a great time to check in on your gambling. A NSW Government initiative, Australians are being urged to stop and think about their own gambling practices and start a conversation with family and friends during 8-14 October.
Stories Of Hope Showcased At HopeStreet Event In Hunter
Shane and Faith, who specialise in community projects, helped to commemorate the milestone day by creating an inspirational mural and community art piece at the HopeStreet BaptistCare launch event.
VIRGINS VS. WHORES
I’m an average woman, who has lived a somewhat sheltered and privileged life. Now, I lead a team of dedicated and extraordinary people striving to improve the lives of women working in Sydney’s sex industry, and my day-to-day life has changed in ways I wasn’t prepared for.
People Like Us
It is a place of belonging. Within its walls, women experiencing the challenges of homelessness, domestic violence, addiction, social isolation and the stigma of being associated with the sex industry, can connect with each other and our HopeStreet team.
HopeStreet Gives Lee A New Start
Isolated and knowing no one, Lee’s first sense of belonging was when she arrived on the doorstep of BaptistCare HopeStreet to buy some low-cost food.
Vets Helping Pets
Yet pet owners who are experiencing homelessness or housing stress and living with limited socio-economic resources struggle when their furry friends become ill or injured and need expensive veterinary care.
This is what I see, and this is why I have hope.
“Inevitably, when asked about my work at HopeStreet, people are prepared to hear stories of sorrow, hardship and despair. And those stories certainly come to mind pretty quickly.
Lost in Translation
Hope is a powerful motivator; it inspires, strengthens and emboldens. It is hope which gives people the courage to leave their home country and seek a new life in Australia. Hope which quiets the fears that arise at the thought of travelling across the world and leaving behind all you...
Mum Shares Brave Story With Kidspot Podcast
The Kidspot Juggling Act podcast, hosted by Mel Wilson and Cassie Hamer, recently spoke with a BaptistCare HopeStreet client, Rachel*, who accessed BaptistCare's domestic violence supported accommodation after she and her children left their home following years of violence.
One in four Australians struggle to afford food or pay bills
In the eyes of Craig Budden, centre manager for one of the Hunter’s three BaptistCare HopeStreet locations, that percentage is simply “too high”.
HopeStreet welcomes homelessness funding
Homelessness is a complex and multifaceted issue affecting an increasing number of Australians. While there are many catalysts and considerations at play, HopeStreet particularly welcomes the government’s focus on women experiencing domestic violence, and affirms that whatever policies the NSW Government puts in place, women’s safety should be the priority.
Halo Ball Brings Hope
The important fundraising event, hosted by BaptistCare at Doltone House Darling Island Wharf in Pyrmont, encouraged guests to recognise the often voiceless victims of domestic and family violence: the children.
Meet the woman trying to end family violence in one generation
"Without intervention, most of these kids will go on to either be victims or perpetrators of family violence," Lesley Robson says sadly, and it's a chilling thought.
Partnering With Kidspot In #couchandacuppa Campaign
Partnering with BaptistCare, the campaign features the opportunity for people to donate to BaptistCare’s Break Free program, an early intervention program that works with children to rebuild their lives and focus on a future free from the trauma of domestic and family violence.m
Making the most of the most important meal
In a day and age where school mornings seem like a mad dash for the door, Gaynor understands the importance of a sit-down meal. She’s seen the result of it on up to forty children on any given school day over the last four years.
Changing lives on both sides of the Bain Marie
BaptistCare Port Kembla impacts an average of 70 lives daily in the area as a safe and welcoming place where people living with disadvantage can address key issues and meet their basic needs. We hear how it helps everyday. What’s not so common is the stories and paths that lead...
BaptistCare Takes Pledge To End Homelessness In The Hunter
Rob Ellis, BaptistCare General Manager for HopeStreet Community Services said signing the pledge is another step for the organisation, which has been active in the Hunter region for decades, playing its part in taking action to reduce homelessness.
Minister officially opens HopeStreet Women's Centre
The new Women’s Centre has been designed as a safe space where marginalised women in Sydney’s inner city can access free and confidential professional support. Women, including transgender women, will be able to access a range of practical services including:
Bank Boost Helps Kids Break Free
Recognised as a crucial service for the community, BaptistCare’s Break Free program in Campbelltown will receive $3,000 per year from the Commonwealth Bank Community Grants scheme, over the next three years.
From The Ground Up: David's Journey To Employment
Born on a dairy farm in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands in 1964, David, a self-described ‘prodigal son’ moved to Australia in 1981. After decades of work in construction and security his life changed dramatically when he found himself without work and without a home. He experienced homelessness for over...
$10 Million Microfinance Milestone Reached
In the ten years since the organisation commenced its microfinance program, BaptistCare HopeStreet has delivered no-interest and low-interest loans to people experiencing significant financial distress, supporting communities, families and vulnerable people as they strive for financial stability.
Entertainment Lineup For Third Annual Halo Ball
BaptistCare has been supporting women and children fleeing violent and oppressive relationships for more than 30 years and has been at the forefront of national debate on how to bring an end to family violence.
Breaking Shackles Of Stigma
The Community Centre plays an integral role in the Newcastle suburb as safe and welcoming place for people who are homeless or individuals and families living on the margins.