We all want to live life to the full. But because of circumstances, not everyone has the same chance to achieve this.
Fortunately for Carly* and her children, she decided to reach out to CatholicCare for help before it was too late.
When Carly came to CatholicCare looking for support, she was feeling lost, desperate and alone. Homeless and pregnant with her third child, Carly felt she had nowhere to go. Her two young daughters had been taken from her care and were living with her mother, who would not let Carly stay with them.
Living rough, Carly put herself in hospital sometimes, just to have food in her stomach and somewhere to sleep.
“I was on drugs, my head was all over the place. My CatholicCare caseworker said she’d be there for me but I needed to pull my act together. Soon after, I just woke up one day and said, ‘No more drugs and alcohol, I have to stop,’” Carly said.
CatholicCare’s mission is to be the face of Christ the Good Shepherd, ensuring that individuals, parents, children and families in crisis have every chance to live their potential and lead positive and fulfilling lives.
For the last year or so, CatholicCare has worked with Carly to help her turn her life around, recover and thrive.
Linda Davis, CatholicCare Manager said, “We arranged supported housing, the basics for Carly to start a new home life, and supportive care.
“Carly participated in our addictions and wellbeing groups; and intensive family preservation, positive parenting and independent living skills programs. She also used our financial counselling service.
“With counselling and constant support, Carly has transformed her life and hasn’t touched ice, marijuana or alcohol since.
“When her baby boy Jacob was born, one of our team was with her.
“Surrounded by loving support and guidance, Carly has gained confidence in herself and her abilities as a mum.
“Carly participates in a weekly mum’s group where she meets new people and learns new skills including arts, crafts, cooking, sewing and meditation.
“Carly’s worked incredibly hard and we’re so proud of the transformation she has made,” said Linda.
Now she’s more stable, Carly’s looking forward to reuniting with her daughters, finding a more permanent home and getting her family back together.
“I’ve been coming to CatholicCare for more than a year because of the support and care I get here. They’re like family,” said Carly. “I feel heaps better. I am proud of myself – I haven’t touched drugs or alcohol, and I stopped smoking. I don’t do any of that anymore. Everyone knows I’m feeling better, that I’m stable, I’m clean.
“I’m looking forward to my daughters being able to come over and stay soon, so we can have some mummy time. And hopefully next year I’ll have a home and all my kids with me. Then I would be over the moon,” she said.
There are many people in our community like Carly in crisis who need CatholicCare’s help to become the best human beings they can be.
No mother, baby or family should be homeless or without support.
This Christmas, through a gift to the Bishop’s Christmas Appeal, you can help bring families together and provide a safe haven where they can access practical and emotional support.
As Catholics, we are all called to be the compassionate face of Christ and give hope to the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable.
In the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, “We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.”
Your kind-hearted gift and prayers today will connect more people like Carly with the support and services they need for self-sufficiency, fulfilling family relationships and brighter futures.
For further information on CatholicCare’s social services, please visit ccss.org.au.
To support CatholicCare’s ministry, visit yourcatholicfoundation.org.au/appeal
*Names changed for privacy protection.