The day Nina’s life changed – thanks to you
Two years ago, Nina* was living in rural South Australia. She felt stuck in a toxic and controlling relationship. She was isolated and in constant fear for her safety.
On a rare trip to Adelaide, she found an opportunity to escape her partner but she had to leave without any belongings. Nina soon discovered how difficult it is to start afresh without support, money, or even personal identification.
With Hutt St Centre’s support, Nina was able to obtain a copy of her birth certificate and proof of age card so she could apply for housing. And at Hutt St Centre, Nina was made to feel welcome and safe for the first time in years.
Nina has kindly shared her story with us to show the incredible impact your support has for people experiencing homelessness. Thank you for stepping up to walk a mile in Nina’s boots.
Every person who walks through our doors has their own unique story. But it’s rare we hear a first-hand experience as powerful as this one.
Nina* recently reached out to us to share the difference your kind support of Hutt St Centre has made in her life. She says:
“I was living in the country and stuck in a domestic violence relationship. I had no communication with anyone, and he followed me everywhere I went, so I couldn't get away.
During a trip to the city, I managed to get away, but found that I had run somewhere that the environment and the people were dangerous. I had no phone, no identification, and all of my money was gone.
I tried to apply for housing but was told that I’d need ID. Thankfully, someone mentioned Hutt St Centre could help me with this. I thought that would be a good place to start. I have chronic anxiety but gathered up my courage.
At Hutt St, I met with a worker called Barbara. I told her about what had happened to me. She listened and was sincere and genuine. She helped me to get my birth certificate, then encouraged me to stay for lunch, and then come along to the new book club group which was starting that day.
I stayed for lunch and, despite my anxiety, I got through it. I realised that I had finally found a safe space where I didn't have to worry about being violated.
I pushed through my anxiety and went along to the book club. It was wonderful. It took my mind away from my problems... it reminded me that I enjoyed reading books. I was laughing and I felt happy. I went along the next fortnight... and the following few.
I invited a friend along and we had lunch together. I finally felt connected to something.
I was able to get my photo ID, using my birth certificate. I then went on to sort out all of my court fines, engage in drug and alcohol counselling, got my learner's permit, and now have even enrolled in a diploma in Alcohol and Other Drugs.
It might not seem like much... but the friendly faces, the supportive staff and volunteers, the help with that first step getting some proof of my identity, the way I was treated like I mattered, the way I was served in the dining room, the book club... everything that Hutt St did for me that day was so significant.
I walked into Hutt St Centre as a broken person. I had no faith in people as it had all been eroded. But I walked out of there with the feeling that people cared... I felt like someone had breathed life into my world. I cannot describe how amazing that felt, after the path that had come before.
On that day my life changed. I saw that I had value, because people at Hutt St treated me with kindness, dignity and respect.
Now I have a place of my own. Hutt St helped me with furniture and appliances so it really feels like home. I still have my up days and my down days... but my worst day now is still so much better than my best day before.
It's hard to believe that these kinds of miraculous changes can happen, but with the right support and services – they truly are able to.
I want to share my story to thank all of you. I hope you know how much of an impact you have had on my life. Because of that, I can finally say I’m doing well.
Thank you for your kindness and for all of the support Hutt St Centre has provided me. It really was a game changer the day I walked into the Centre – and that’s thanks to people like you.”
By taking part in Walk a Mile in My Boots, you’ll give someone like Nina the chance to rebuild their lives.