This time last year...
...Sia was living the worst time of her life. She’d chosen alcohol and an abusive partner over her family. Her son, and two daughters were having to survive on their own, on a benefit, and living in a shelter. This only made Sia drink more in order to forget.
With alcohol abuse came aggression, and after a particularly bad fight, Sia was thrown out of her partner’s mother’s home. This was when Sia realised that she had to get help. On the day that she entered our Bridge programme, she was still drunk from the night before.
When talking about her experience, Sia says:
‘When I went to the Bridge, I didn’t know anything about The Salvation Army.
They gave me hope, and helped me peel away my problems one-by-one.
I cannot thank them enough. They saved my life.
This coming year is going to be one of the best years of my life because I’m back with my family, and I’m not drinking.'
Now, one year on, Sia has changed so much. Sia’s now focusing on renewing her bonds with her children. And slowly, they’re starting to trust her again, even attending her graduation. And by Christmas, Sia will be enjoying her new permanent home at The Salvation Army’s Te Hononga Tangata, Royal Oak, social housing community.
The truth is that the Bridge programme is only part of her rehabilitation. Sia continued her personal journey supported by our many additional wrap-around services. Courses like the Positive Lifestyle Programme (PLP) that helps deal with depression, anger, grief and stress, build self-esteem and gain skills in assertiveness, goal setting and problem-solving.
Hauora wairua, a sense of spiritual wellbeing, underpins all we do.
Even though we do get government funding for programmes like the Bridge, many of our wrap-around services needed to complete a person’s rehabilitation depend totally on the generosity of compassionate Kiwis. Additional relief and practical support, like start-up care packs and items needed when they move into their new home are not funded.
Now this year, Sia has changed; she's a different person and smiling. Sia is now looking forward to this time next year, moving into her new home and having her family around her.
When asked why Sia wanted to share her story she explained that it is so that others can know there is hope. She wanted to show transformation and amazing change is possible for others like her.
Each Christmas The Salvation Army helps more than 16,000 people with urgent and long-term care including housing, food, counselling and advocacy. With your help, we can support that person for whom the coming season of joy will be their darkest moment; or give hope to that Kiwi family soon to be living on the street; or so many others who find themselves in desperate circumstances this year.
Please donate today and help someone else like Sia.