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Bib's story: how a mother and children became homeless

Bib, homelessBib was shivering with shock and clutching her two young daughters when she arrived at The Salvation Army's St. Kilda Crisis Centre. She had been little more than a girl herself when she came to Australia four years ago. Her husband was much older and grew increasingly violent as his frustrations grew in this new country.

Bib was hardly allowed to venture out to her local shopping complex, and when she did she became crippled with fear for her daughters' safety and hurried back home. Eventually she realized that if she did not escape, one of them could lose their life. She had no money, poor English and few friends. When she and her daughters finally came to the Salvation Army they were in a desperate state. They were literally homeless, with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Through The Salvation Army St Kilda Crisis Services, Bib and her daughters were helped into transitional and then longer-term housing. They were given help to set up their home, and linked to a number of other necessary services. Salvation Army workers introduced Bib to her local area and showed her how to access a place of worship for her faith.

More than a roof

Administrator of The Salvation Army Crisis Services at St Kilda, Doug Parker said: "A roof over someone's head, even though its vital, is probably a small facet of the needs we see in the lives of those who are homeless.

"Here we offer counselling, nursing staff, legal aid staff, material aid, a domestic violence service and a direct link with Centrelink. For some people who do not have permanent accommodation, we also act as a mailing address. The beauty of The Salvation Army is that we can also offer a range of links into services such as drug and alcohol counselling and detox programs. I think the key is being able to provide a group of services under the one umbrella."

You can help women like Bib with your donation to the Red Shield Appeal. Thank you!