29 March 2019
Sometimes, even doing everything right isn’t enough
Gracie worked hard, paid her bills on time, cared for her children… and still, her family ended up homeless, living in their car. If it wasn’t for the help they received, they might be there still.
It all happened so suddenly.
First, Gracie lost her job when her contract wasn't renewed. Next, the landlord cancelled the lease on the family home without warning.
After paying the last of her rent, Gracie had nothing left – and no income either.
As the family packed their things into the car, her youngest son Jim kept asking why they had to leave the home that he loved.
There was no answer that Gracie could give him.
Into the darkness
As darkness fell and the family spent their first night in their car, Gracie could see Jim was terrified.
Torn away from the comfort and stability of home, he was too anxious to sleep. Every time he heard a strange noise, he tried to hide. Whenever a stranger walked past the car, he imagined they were a scary monster.
After their second night in the car, Gracie remembers walking to the edge of a park and crying out to the emptiness as the heartache, loss and frustration finally overcame her.
“I just kept wondering, ‘What have I done that I have to go through this? And what more do I have to go through to have a normal life?”
Darkness into light
In desperation, having already run out of food, Gracie rang the Salvos.
Understanding the urgency of the situation, case manager Lucy swung into action and within three hours, called with some incredible news – a house the family could stay in.
Once Gracie had some stable accommodation, she was able to start looking for a permanent home and start rebuilding her family's life.
Through The Salvation Army, the kids were able to access therapists that helped them feel safe and confident again. And Gracie was able to work with financial counsellors that helped her pay off her remaining debts.
Gracie and the family were able to start their new life with a clean slate.
“I was in tears, just absolutely gobsmacked,” Gracie recalls. “I don’t know how we would have survived without The Salvation Army.” Gracie and her family were in desperate straits. But with help, they have turned their lives around and now want to help others.
More than 15,000* children under 12 in Australia are homeless. Many of them are living in cars or on the street. All of them are scared and in danger. Please donate now, and give hope where it’s needed most.