Donate to our Christmas Appeal

For many, Christmas is a time when they feel most disconnected from the world around them. A time when they are reminded of their past trauma.

Give a donation to help us raise $631,053 this year, and be a part of a socially just and welcome community that supports people experiencing homelessness.

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Gloria is an example of the impact your giving can have. And why we need you to give again this Christmas.

Gloria's story

Gloria is a strong, resilient woman. Her fight for independence has been long and difficult, but she has not let past experiences stop her from building a strong connection to her community.

When we first met Gloria she was sleeping rough behind bushes in a St Kilda park. Her long history of trauma affected how she saw life and how she interacted with her community. She wanted to hide from the world.

She said she felt socially isolated and alone.

Donate today and share our vision of an inclusive, fair and compassionate community for everyone.

While Gloria initially refused support from workers, she had to eat. Through our St Kilda Dining Hall, where she came most days for lunch, we were able to connect with her a little more each day.

When trust is established, people are often ready to make changes. Your support helps to rebuild missing self-confidence after many debilitating instances of trauma in a person’s life. One meal at a time.

Gloria used many drugs to dampen down the angry voices in her head and soften the memories of a dark, abusive past.

There were occasions when she would find her life, and any human contact, overwhelming. She would panic and run out in front of passing cars on Grey Street.

Gloria’s behaviour related to childhood trauma. She needed to learn to trust again before she could start to make changes in her life.

“I was abused by a neighbour we trusted when I was little, I can’t help but look at everyone as if they might try to hurt me in some way.’’

While sleeping in the park, Gloria missed out on a rare housing opportunity, simply because we couldn’t find her. Unfortunately, this is all too common. One evening Gloria was sexually assaulted on the streets and left with serious health concerns.

“You try to hide away when you live on the streets. Nowhere is safe.

“My time living in the park is just like a black hole of scary pictures with lots of pain”.

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After building a strong relationship with her through the Dining Hall, we knew exactly where to find Gloria when a crisis accommodation vacancy become available. Gloria agreed to give it a try. There she was able to receive vital medical care when her life was at risk.

After a period of care and recovery, Gloria started to participate in wellbeing activities which connected her with the community. Through this, she found she was able to trust others more and more.

Gloria’s past experiences do not define or limit her. She was able to find renewed hope and confidence and the support she received allowed her to take control of rebuilding her life.

We are often struck by people’s resilience and their inner strength. This is thanks to the opportunities the Dining Hall provides, through your donations.

After experiencing homelessness for 15 years, she moved into a private rental flat late last year. With a new home and her rescue dog Albert, she no longer feels alone.

“I have always wanted to sleep somewhere I knew I wouldn't be in danger. That’s a home to me.”

This is the first safe home Gloria has ever known.

Please donate now and continue to provide these opportunities for so many others like Gloria.

Your donation is precious. Thank you for your commitment to the support of Gloria and others in her situation.

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