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David's ongoing journey to finding freedom

15 January 2018

David’s world turned upside down following an act of domestic violence in his family home almost 20 years ago.

He went from being a happy Social Psychology student, to suddenly facing months of intensive therapy after acquiring a brain injury, along with epilepsy and hearing and mobility impairments.

Once discharged from hospital, David was sent straight back to the place he was assaulted. To escape the risk of further psychological abuse, he knew that he had to leave his home, where he felt incredibly threatened and unsafe.

So he was on his own – unable to work and with no family and no support. David was alienated. He experienced depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and mental illness. He became homeless and was living under gum trees, close to public toilets for hot water and the use of free power points.

It wasn’t until he was absolutely starving that he finally asked for help from the Salvos.

“It’s one thing to be studying about poverty and domestic violence as a social psychologist…but when you’re actually one yourself it’s an entirely different matter.”

Become a Salvos regular giver to help people like David. 

Thanks to the support of our monthly donors we’ve been able to give David so much more than just food – we’ve been able to support him over a number of years on his journey to finding freedom.

David initially received emergency food and shelter and, after a while, began his journey with our Moneycare  services to find financial assistance and a place to live. David now lives peacefully in his own place fitted to accommodate his immobility, with ongoing support from the Salvos. He has goals to one day complete his studies as a mature age student and eventually return to the workforce.

“The big thing for me is actually being hungry and having no food in my kitchen after everything is paid...it has affected my return to work. I’m still in crisis mode.”

However, his struggle still isn’t over. Sometimes he still goes without meals, because he’s still experiencing poverty. He’s also had to delay uni because he simply can’t afford the books or transport to get there.

David still needs our help – more so than ever because he wants to finish his studies. He wants to work. He wants to contribute and give back. He wants to complete his journey to recovery, independence and freedom.

The Australian Council of Social Services estimates that 2,990,300 million Australians are living below the poverty line. Many, like David, have become the unfortunate victim of circumstance - struggling to get by through no fault of their own.

Regular donations to the Salvos make the difference. Our Salvos regular givers stand alongside us to deliver care to those most in need, along every step of their journey.

Becoming a Salvos regular giver is one of the most effective ways that you can help us to plan and prepare, for the needs of tomorrow and for the future – helping us to sustain our services and ensure that we are there for those who’ll call for our help when they need it most.

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"Words can’t express my thanks and gratitude for The Salvation Army because when you’re a victim of crime and you have post-traumatic stress disorder you’re not very trusting, you’ve very vulnerable. They earned my respect and my trust."

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