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4 October 2021
It all began with asking for ‘a little help’
In Australia, over three million people are living below the poverty line. That’s one in eight people. As we approach Anti-Poverty Week – 17-23 October – the Salvos are encouraging those doing it tough to reach out for help. Financial hardship can happen to anyone at any time, and accessing support early is important for a positive outcome.
As we approach Anti-Poverty Week, Salvos Magazine will feature the stories of those who have accessed the Salvos Moneycare and Doorways (emergency relief) services and the difference it has made in their lives.
Words Naomi Singlehurst
Heavily pregnant with her first child, Diya* had recently escaped domestic and family violence (DFV). Her partner had forced her to leave her job, move interstate and had also coerced her into a range of debts.
When she finally left the relationship, Diya had no family support. What she desperately needed was some breathing room to establish a new life without the threat of spiralling into an even deeper financial black hole.
Diya was referred to Liezl, a Salvos Moneycare financial counsellor who strongly advocated for banks and financial institutions. Liezl helped Diya gain a moratorium on her debts until she could get back to work. She also helped build Diya’s confidence and clarity around her options and organised a voucher through Doorways for some baby items.
For Diya, this support was life-changing.
She recently wrote to Liezl to thank her for her support and to tell her that financial counselling had helped change the direction of her life.
Diya wrote: “You were so kind and gentle and understanding. You helped me take out a moratorium on all my loans for 12 months to allow me to prepare for my child and life as a single parent. That triggered my journey to financial freedom.
“Over the course of a year I was able to pay back every cent of that debt that I had accrued, and I am now in a position where I am not only debt free, I can say that I actually have wealth. I have you to thank for that!
“I am now a single mother with a two-year-old girl, and we are thriving … Our lives have been transformed and for the first time I am living a life without excessively worrying about my finances.
“I am forever grateful for your gracious help and now also share my story and encourage others in similar situations to visit financial counsellors.
“You have impacted me so much that I am actually studying to become a financial advisor myself and currently work in finance! Please just know that the work you are doing is truly God's work. You have been beyond a blessing to my family and there will never be a day that I won't be thankful for meeting with you.”
“Diya has worked to turn around her life, and Moneycare was just there to help her through a tough time,” says Liezl. “We actively advocated to banks for extensions, worked on financial literacy, looking at how to pay smaller debts off first, then as payments changed, how to redo a budget.
Diya took the support and advice and ran with it.
“It is so important to ask for help and to access support early. There are always options to look at, and there is so many negative consequences when you don’t. Sadly, too often we tend to see people at the point of crisis, rather than early intervention.”
Diya advises those in similar situations to hers to reach out for help – the earlier the better – and that no financial situation is too much for financial counsellors to handle.
The incredible and empowering journey to financial freedom, independence and control all starts with [asking for] a little help.
To contact Moneycare’s free online counsellors, call 1800 722 363.
* Name and some details changed for privacy