Changing Lives – Stories of Safe Haven Halfway Home Residents

Date: December 22, 2017
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Story of Anna*

Anna describes herself as a girl who does not have long hair and who looks like a boy. This young woman with a good sense of humour is a bubble of joy.

She dreams to have her own restaurant and becomes a chef. She can cook a range of delicious dishes.However, this 19-year-old young woman, has not tasted the joy of living with a family. Her parents abandoned her when she was a child and her mother is no longer alive. She got to know the identity of her father and first met him in April 2018, after over 15 years.  She talks about her parents in a tone which does not contain a trace of sadness. I could tell from our conversation that she pretends to act as if she is detached from her harsh past and does not feel an ounce of emotion for parents. She repeated more than twice that she dreams to buy her own house and live with all her siblings. This clearly showed how much she longs for a family and a home.  

Anna has been moving from shelter to shelter since she was a baby. When she was reaching 18, she had to leave the shelter because she was no longer a teenager but an adult. Anna describes this period as the hardest moment in her life. She had to wander on the streets. She clearly remembers the day when she cried miserably in a public garden, praying to God as she had nowhere to go. For nearly a whole year before living at Safe Haven Halfway Home, Anna moved from house to house, living at the mercy of friends and strangers. In this tiny span of time, she travelled in several regions, seeking a roof and had to change jobs continuously. One day, she came across an article written by another resident of Safe Haven Halfway Home and reached out for help. We welcomed here amidst us and gave her all support needed. 

Story of Sara*

Sara has been at SHHH for 2 months.  She has been abused by her ex boyfriend and had a traumatic experience with him. Unable to cope with the daily struggles, she asked a friend to help her look for a shelter which could accommodate her and her two children aged 5 and 2 respectively. She contacted us and on the same day we welcomed at Safe Haven. 

Despite the fact that she has an average level of literacy, Sara has always been on the move and constantly looks out for part time jobs and with the money earned she would cater for the needs of her children and herself. While her abusive relationship was unbearable, Sara never gave up on finding job opportunities since she had no other income. Besides, her ex-boyfriend was a drug addict. Her grandfather would help her to babysit the children while she was out working. 

Sara’s timid voice and introverted nature has been an opportunity for others to use and abuse her. She would rarely stand up for herself and always needs a push. Fortunately, her friend was by her side and even accompanied her to Safe Haven. Sara currently has a protection order and is safe with her children. Safe Haven team accompanied her to complete all the procedures for her protection order and legal matters. 

Sara’s dream is to have her own house where she can be independent. She hopes for a good future for her two children and wants to see them prosper academically.

Story of Hana*

Hana is a  young woman who aspires to become a make-up artist. When she was a child, she used to play with make-up and this childhood passion for make-up has not faded. She intends to turn this passion into a career. 

This 18-year-old woman whose lovely smile can brighten the day of anyone however harbours painful memories of her childhood and teenage years. Hana was abandoned by her parents when she was only one year old. Her father is a drug addict. Hana’s aunt took her under her responsibility along with her elder sister. She lived most of her childhood without having any knowledge about her birth parents. None of them tried to get into contact with her. When she was 10 years old, she first got to know about her birth parents and about the fact that she was abandoned. This revelation perturbed her as she felt betrayed and she became rebellious. Hana, who was then still a naïve child, insisted on leaving the house of her aunt and on living with her mother. Unable to deal with her rebellious behaviour, her aunt put her in a shelter. When she was 15, Hana was then placed in the Rehabilitation Youth Centre (RYC). The years that she spent at RYC were an ordeal which she still has not overcome. She moved to another shelter after spending 3 years at RYC. However, she had to leave that shelter when she turned 18. Hana lived on the streets for a few days as her aunt refused to take her in and she had nowhere to go.

Her smile began fading as she talked about her dreary, colourless past. Blinking her tears back, she laments why her parents abandoned her. She believes that if she lived with them, she would not have gone through all this emotional trauma. She has been moving from shelter to shelter and is emotionally tired as she has to continuously deal with new faces. Hana wants to stop living this life of a nomad and seeks a home, a dwelling of her own. Safe Haven has welcomed her in its hearth and will help her bring back colours in her life.

*Names have been modified for confidentiality

Account name – Gender Links
Swift Code- STCBMUMU
Account Number- 62030100120406

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