Situation Snapshot

Tracy* is a 21 year old single parent with two daughters, five and three years old, and was referred to the Accoras ParentsNext program in November 2022. At that time, she and her girls were homeless, with no family to support her. She had recently fled a Domestic and Family Violence situation. She chose to give any food she could to her little children, with not enough left for herself, resulting in regular hospital admissions and an anorexia diagnosis. The littlest daughter had no nappies, and they all had no personal hygiene items.

Goals & Challenges

Tracy had unsuccessfully engaged with other supports before, resulting in her being extremely wary and nervous. She had little to no understanding of finances, budgeting, and was unable to feed her family. In order to put food on the table for her girls, feeling like she had no choice, she had begun to sell herself to an older man.

This made her ashamed, and she initially resisted documenting this information. She realised however that she needed guidance on how to remove herself from that situation and feed her family in better ways.

What Accoras did

Due to Tracy’s wariness about working with supports programs, it took 3 months to create an environment where she felt safe in face to face appointments. When she presented to the Accoras Southport office, she was frail and thin, and shared that neither her daughters nor herself had eaten. The Accoras Regional Leader walked with her to the Set Free service, with whom they have connections plus it’s close. Set Free supplies food hampers to those in need, people just like Tracy and her girls. All this time, the Accoras Service Manager stayed with the daughters at the office - playing games and feeding them food from the office. The team at Set Free gave her a hamper, also sharing the details of other local services in the area that could help her with food ie Frank’s Place, Rosie’s Street Outreach. The Accoras team checked in regularly with Tracy at the local caravan park, where she had managed to secure a roof of sorts over their heads - all the while continuing to build rapport and foundations of trust. They also had conversations about safety, sharing additional supports to help Tracy remove herself from the situation of selling herself, plus they connected her with DV Connect Support line (Gold Coast).

The outcome

Since being supported by Accoras and ParentsNext, Tracy has shared that she now is able to properly put food on the table for her precious little family. She’s begun eating, reducing the risk of hospitalisation. Now, she’s focused on providing better care for her children. The Accoras team has helped her work through budgeting, setting up ways to pay her bills that she understands, and she is in a better financial position overall. Importantly, she no longer has to resort to selling herself to feed her family. Additionally, the Case Coordinator has worked alongside DV Connect and Salvation Army for housing support, and she was successful in moving into a house with her girls.

What she says

According to Tracy, if it wasn’t for Accoras, she simply wouldn’t be where she is today. In fact, she says, she could be dead, leaving her children motherless, without the hope and future that they now have. Her whole life has changed.

The Future

Now that she has stability and support in her life, Tracy is looking forward to creating future goals including realising a dream of studying within the beauty industry. The Accoras Case Coordinator is working with her on this now in regularly scheduled appointments.

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