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  • Michelle’s Story

    Imagine being homeless for ten years.
    Sadly, for Michelle it was the reality.

    Please send a gift by June 30 and you can help rebuild a life.

    It’s easy to take things for granted. Everyday things like taking a shower or eating a meal with family or friends are just part of our daily routine. We don’t give it much thought.

    Now, take a moment and put yourself in Michelle’s shoes. Homeless for ten years, through absolutely no fault of her own.

    No one chooses to be homeless. There is often a trigger or life event that leads to homelessness, often with little warning.

    Not having a place to live puts a strain on every aspect of life. Your health, relationships and career opportunities are affected, not to mention the danger of living on the streets.

    Michelle was just 25 years old when she first became homeless.

    I think we met Michelle just in time because it’s clear that her life had taken a path that had little to offer.

    Thankfully, Michelle visited what we call Meals Plus. It’s a day centre that can give people a chance to re-write their story.

    It often starts as a hot meal and a chat but it’s so much more than that. It’s a place where we can help someone rebuild their life, one day at a time.

    Can I count on you to donate today to give people a second chance?

    Meals Plus receives no government funding. It’s the kindness and generosity of people like you that keep our doors open.

    Meals Plus gave Michelle somewhere to go, a place where she could get professional advice on how to start again. Michelle knew she needed to change her life but didn’t know where to start.
    I wish I could tell you that Michelle’s situation is rare, but I can’t.

    In fact, the recently released census data revealed that homelessness in Australia has risen by almost 14%. I’m sure you would agree that the trend isn’t acceptable in a country as lucky as ours and that everyone deserves a second chance.

    I said earlier, it’s easy to take things for granted. I think that’s why so many people are surprised at some of the things that can break the cycle of homelessness.

    In the last twelve months Meals Plus has prepared 35,000 meals. Meals Plus isn’t just a meal. It’s an entry point to everything we can offer Michelle and thousands like her to get back on their feet. We offer laundry and shower facilities, financial counselling, legal advice and assistance in finding accommodation.

    Imagine having a job interview but not being able to wash your best clothes or have a shower.

    Everyone deserves an opportunity to live to the full, but we can’t help people like Michelle without your support.

    What if someone close to you lost their way in life, what would you be willing to do?

    Your support would mean so much to people just like Michelle.

    Please make a tax-deductible gift today knowing that your generosity will give hope to those that need a help up, not a hand out.

    I say a hand up because I can tell you that Michelle is made of tough stuff. She’s faced many setbacks in life but continues to amaze my staff with her determination. Homelessness became part of her life due to family issues, which really can have lifelong effects. I think we all live our lives assuming our relationships are forever but at times things can, and do, go wrong.

    Michelle spent time on the street and couch surfed as much as she could to stay safe. At times she could find temporary accommodation, but her life was a rollercoaster of uncertainty.
    It’s no surprise to me that Michelle became overwhelmed with anxiety. The thought of having no support structure, nowhere safe to sleep and nothing to eat must be terrifying. Anxiety left unresolved often leads to other problems and in the case of Michelle it wasn’t long before anxiety led to depression and depression led to addiction as a way to cope.

    If you’re not impressed with Michelle’s spirit already I can tell you that with our help she’s already beaten addiction. She has been clean for over 12 months now.

    The idea that it just couldn’t happen to me or someone close to me just isn’t true. The reality is that every young woman who walks through our doors is a sister, mother, wife or daughter.
    Some of our biggest challenges in recent years are the shortage of available housing and the rising cost of living, especially in our capital cities. If you’ve recently opened an electricity bill, you can see how easily the cost of day to day items can push a person to breaking point.

    The Australian Council of Social Service have reported that three million Australians are living in poverty. No wonder the demands for our services are increasing and it would break my heart to ever have to turn people away.

    Meals Plus really is a safe haven for people that have nowhere to turn, and it costs $400,000 a year which is likely to increase as more and more people need our help.

    It would mean so much if you were able to make a donation today.

    Michelle is living proof that Meals Plus can be the new beginning that so many people need.

    Together we can transform lives through compassion which leads to real hope. I know so many causes probably ask for your support at this time of year, but I feel obliged to ask for your help because every day I see the difference that a little kindness can make. Michelle is just one example of what we can achieve together, and I can tell you that her life is slowly getting back on track.

    Since first walking into Parramatta Mission so much has changed for Michelle. She now has secure accommodation and doesn’t need to be scared for her safety or live on the streets.
    Michelle also has some casual work, a major step towards living independently again. Michelle’s story is a reminder of how determined we are to walk along side people in their journey to recovery.

    I believe it’s part of what we’re here to do, and we will never stop while people still need our help.

    The level of support that people need varies from person to person, but the end goal is always a life of real purpose and opportunity.

    I hope you have enjoyed reading Michelle’s story and that her courage to rebuild her life has inspired you to give as generously as you can. Every single dollar will go directly to helping people just like Michelle, so you know that your compassion today will change a life tomorrow.

    Please make a donation online today, or call us on 02 9891 2277.

    Michelle is getting her life on track but there are so many people that need our help.

    Thank you very much.



    Rev Keith Hamilton
    Senior Minister/CEO

    PS – Please remember that all gifts over $2 are tax deductible this financial year if we receive your donation prior to June 30.

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