Cassie first came to Small Steps after leaving an abusive relationship. She had two young children, and was pregnant with her third child.
She did not have support from her parents, and despite knowing the dangers of leaving her partner, she decided she had to escape. But finding a new home was much harder than she thought.
“When I couldn’t find a home, it was a punch to the gut”, says Cassie.
With nothing but a suitcase and a couple of toys in her hand, Cassie made a call to the Small Steps program. It was a call that would change her, and her family’s future, for good.
“It felt like a completely new beginning,” says Cassie. “It was like a breath of fresh air, just to be surrounded by positive people who cared about me and the kids.”
Cassie appreciated the support through the parenting and life-skills programs at Small Steps. She attended cooking classes, financial planning and a course on respectful relationships. Small Steps helped her to set long term life goals.
While at Small Steps, her middle child Ezra was diagnosed with epilepsy.
“Small Steps staff were right there when I needed help with Ezra. When I needed to be at the hospital with him, they looked after Quentin and Alfie, and organised transport. Little things like that just kept me so positive.”
After staying at the Small Steps program for 17 months, Cassie felt comfortable and confident enough to look for her own place to stay. In February 2020 Cassie secured a three-bedroom home on the Eastern Shore for her and children.
“I’m loving it”, says Cassie.
“There’s a great backyard and just so much freedom for the kids. We’re feeling very relaxed and it’s nice to have a big space – we’re not getting under each other’s feet”.
“Small Steps really helped me. Mental health wise it was the biggest help, and it got me ready to live on my own”, Cassie says.
“Now I know what I’ve got to do for my kids. Small Steps got us into a good routine, of taking the kids to school and playgroup, and that routine has really helped since moving out”.
“The kids love it here and I’m still working on my goals. I’d love to get the kids a trampoline and maybe even a dog. Further down the track I’d love to become a qualified mechanic”.
This story was first published in our 2020 Annual Report. To view the full Annual Report, click here.