Imagine, you have to leave your home and take your kids because of domestic violence. You leave with pretty much nothing. You try to start over in a new rental, but are robbed of everything including your underwear. Your abusive ex is stalking you, causes issues and you end up homeless. You turn to shelters for help but you can’t get into one. What would you do?
That was me, with my daughters.
In 2012 I left my abusive marriage. By 2013 we needed a shelter, but there was none I could get into. I was shocked. I had assumed that if anyone ever needed to go to a shelter they could and it would all be fine. Here I was, a single mum of 2 kids, stuck with nowhere to go. Luckily, a friend let us sleep at her place. I slept on the lounge and my daughters shared the rooms with her kids. 3 adults and 6 kids in a tiny 3 bedroom, fibre home in Western Sydney.
Last week, I found out Womens Community Shelters are fundraising to build a shelter in the Greater Penrith Area within 12 months. This is exactly where I was and where I still feel desperately needs these services. The amount of women who have reached out to me through email, social media or even in person who are either in that area or were when they needed help shocks me.
These shelters help women leaving domestic violence to get back on their feet. When you have nowhere else to go, a shelter is a haven and it is sad we need more, but I am so grateful WCS are building one.
They need your help though. As a not for profit, they rely on donations to be able to build this shelter. They have managed to raise thousands already, but need more. If everyone here donated $1 or $5, they would reach their goal.
While I no longer live in Sydney, I feel strongly about helping the community there, especially in the Penrith area as that is where we were. That is where I needed help and that is where I still have friends and my daughters have family.
If you can, please donate, share the message and help us build a new shelter, to be a haven for those who need it in the Greater Penrith Area.