WHITELION SUCCESS STORIES
Detailed below are some personal stories of how Whitelion and the If It Wasn't For This Coffee program has positively impacted individuals in its community. To learn more about Whitelion and If It Wasn't For This Coffee, view this link.
TOLD THROUGH THE EYES OF OUR OUTREACH WORKER
Belinda was very little when she was taken by FACS due to negligence by her biological mother. She has never met her father. She was put in foster care for a few years before she ran away about 5 years ago. Since then she had been sleeping rough and occasionally couch surfing at her friends homes.
When I first met Belinda she was sleeping in a fire exit in Central Station and used illicit drugs daily. She has been in and out of Juvenile detention for a year, she suffers from Bipolar disorder and she is in a tumultuous relationship.
We have assisted Belinda with accommodation through housing NSW, we found her a lawyer from the Shopfront youth legal centre to represent her at court, court support letters and court appearances.
We have also supported Belinda with referrals and transport to see a psychologist at the Haymarket foundation clinic and relationship counselling at the Cleveland centre.
We have assisted with meals, food packages, transport and Christmas gifts. We have also advocated for Belinda when she was going to be evicted from the property where she was living.
Belinda has secured a public housing property to live in. Two of her charges have been dismissed/dropped and now she has no pending court matters at all.
Her relationship with her partner is improving but has a long way to go and she still struggles with illicit drugs. Belinda has also been connected with a tutor and registered at TAFE Randwick where she is planning to finish year 12 next year.
Belinda has come a long way but she has a long way to go as well. She is happy with the progress that she has made so far and she is thankful.
The one thing that has captured my attention was when she told me that she had never told some of the things that she went through because she never trusted anyone before. I have seen her burst into tears because what she was going through was too much to handle. At the time I struggled to hold on and not to be emotional but now that she is progressing well I am extremely optimistic about her future.
None of Belinda’s family completed year 12, she is planning to be the first one in her family to do so.
Evan is a 22 year old, his parents have never been together, he has never met his father.
Evan lived with his mother who happened to have had many boyfriends where he witnessed domestic violence on many occasions and he suffered neglect.
At the age of 7 he was taken by Family and Community services where he lived in different foster houses then into residential shelters.
Once he turned 18, he went back to live with his mother off and on but finally she evicted him from the house where he ended up couch-surfing at his friends’ homes.
Evan has been charged with an offence previously, he is currently on a 3 years suspended sentence. He is on strict conditions where he has to go to court every week and undergoes testing for drug use.
Evan has served time at a correctional facility, some of his documents were left there when he returned to the community. He was couch-surfing at his friend’s home and sometimes sleeping rough in internet cafes and parks around the city.
We have assisted Evan to get his belongings and identification from the correctional facility. We have assisted him with food packages, transportation to his appointments and visited him when he was admitted to hospital.
We have advocated for Evan to ensure that he complies with his parole conditions in working with the probation and parole office. We have referred him to a community housing organisation where he has now secured long term accommodation.
Recently we have assisted him with furniture and items to help him establish himself in his new house.
Now that he has secure accommodation, Evan is looking to resume an event management course mid this year so that he can graduate and find employment in the industry.
Whitelion continues to support Evan through this difficult period of his life and remain committed to helping Evan to have the courage to grow.