Case study of how The Generous & Grateful
changed my client’s life


"Mary is a 31 year old single woman who suffers with complex mental health including schizophrenia, PTSD and borderline personality disorder...Mary has lost both her parents and a further tragedy, affected Mary when her brother took his own life ... Mary’s life became a roller coaster of uncertainty, mental unwellness and very little support or stability...

Since 2015 Mary has been supported by the WJN Mentoring Program, where we match women who have had contact with the criminal justice system to a trained volunteer mentor providing a specialised one-on-one relationship that is established to assist the mentee at a time of significant transition, by providing practical and emotional support, allowing the mentee to seek an appropriate role model and create a respectful relationship, whilst simultaneously connecting with the wider community and avoiding past behaviours that have contributed to their incarceration or contact with the justice system....

In late March 2018 ... living in temporary accommodation in the inner city, presented to the WJN case worker in a very distressed and frightened state. She was at a point where she stated “It is easy to go back to gaol” she felt hopeless. With the support of the WJN case worker Mary was referred to a refuge in another area and ... progressed into transitional accommodation however this has not been easy with several periods of hospitalisation due to her mental health and her general struggles of being on limited funds of a disability payment and general social isolation and uncertainty around her future living circumstances.

In mid, February 2020, Mary ... attended a housing inspection, one of four invited to apply for a permanent housing property. Mary was very excited but also worried if she would be lucky enough to be accepted. Mary applied and was notified of her successful application and she felt her future was beginning to look positive. Mary had no furniture and she moved in with her television, which she had purchased herself, her clothes and her bedding (just sheets, a doona and pillows. She had no other furniture, or appliances). For three weeks Mary lived with these her only possessions, sleeping on the floor and unable to store any form of perishable food. Fortunately she was able to secure a fridge and a double bed mattress via a charitable organisation however she remained otherwise ‘furnitureless’.

When seeking assistance Mary heard of The Generous & Grateful and with the assistance of her case worker contacted Carmen at The Generous & Grateful and this call has totally transformed Mary’s life. Upon receiving her furniture delivery Mary began sending photographs to her WJN worker. She was elated! She stated she finally has a real ‘forever’ home and she exclaimed


“I am so happy. I can’t believe I have all this, when not so long ago all I had was a backpack”.

Mary’s mental health and complex needs have been substantially supported by the generous assistance provided of furniture and a bed to provide a quality of life in her home. Basic needs which most of us take for granted. Mary’s has expressed continual gratitude for the efforts of The Generous & Grateful. Her mental well-being has soared and she is feeling safe and happy in her own space. Mary loves being home and this has helped her avoid the past need to go out seeking comfort and attributing to behaviours of drinking and gambling which have been a consistent problem in her life.

It is also interesting to note with all the recent self-isolation around COVID-19 Mary has stated that she is loving her space however, had she not had the generous support of The Generous & Grateful she would have struggled in discomfort and it would have made her life far more challenging.


WJN is exceedingly grateful to The Generous & Grateful for the support they have provided Mary. It has changed her life and provided her opportunity to life in comfort and with dignity. We have many women like Mary in our service and we are about providing support and changing lives.

Sadly the following statistics are around the disadvantage of women in connected with the NSW Corrective Services System

  • At least 1 in 2 are victims of childhood sexual abuse

  • At least 1 in 2  have experienced sexual victimisation

  • 45% have been reported as victims of partner or spousal abuse

  • 24% were in state care as a child

  • 21% come from a period of unstable accommodation or homelessness prior to custody

In terms of mental health

  • 61% suffer with depression

  • 51% suffer with anxiety

  • 43% have contemplated suicide and 29% have attempted to end their lives

  • 25% have engaged in self harm behaviours

Most women we are engaged with have sad stories of mental health, abuse and trauma and assistance to find stable secure accommodation is vital to their recovery and well-being


Thank you for your support."

Caseworker name withheld and recipient name changed to protect her dignity and privacy. March 2020

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