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Heather's Story

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Heather's Story | End Homelessness Now | The Salvation Army

“I never thought I’d be homeless…not in a million years.”

- Heather

Letting an abusive partner back into her life cost Heather her job, her house and even her girls.  


Heather was working as a ward clerk in a hospital and living with her two daughters in a house she rented. Everything was going well – then within six months her house, her job and her girls were taken away from her. All because she let an abusive ex-partner back into her life.

She was led into the world of drugs and abuse again, something she’d been free from for eight years. She eventually managed to cut off contact with him, but it was too late. She was already sleeping in her car to escape him, with the few possessions she had left.

It was when she found out she was pregnant, that she knew something had to change. She started the process of getting clean, and stayed away from her ex-partner.

Eight months pregnant, Heather arrived at one of our homelessness services. She had camped out all night to get the first appointment in the morning. We settled her in a hotel room until a room came up in our crisis accommodation. Two weeks later her third baby girl was born.

We moved Heather to a secure block of units for women escaping domestic violence and she started working with Salvos caseworker, Angela. After living there for 6 months her girls started spending every second weekend with her.

Just before Christmas Heather moved into a permanent house in the same area and her girls were back with her for good.  

Without the public's support we would not be able to help women like Heather.  Please donate to the Red Shield Appeal today.

Issue: Domestic Violence

Family and domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness in Australia and the statistics are horrifying – more than one woman dies each week as a result of domestic violence in Australia

We provide 39 women’s homelessness programs, making up a quarter of all Salvation Army homelessness centres nationally. The caseworkers and staff in our refuges work with women escaping violence by listening, developing options for them, and helping them respond in ways that support them and their family. 

Read more about family and domestic violence.

Centre: Homeless accommodation for women

About a quarter of our homelessness services are specifically for women who are mostly escaping domestic violence. We work with each woman to get them out of crisis and to slowly rebuild their life and overcome barriers to create a sustainable future for them and their family.

We also work closely with other service providers to improve their outcomes and give them access to a range of support programs. 

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