Three years ago, Anglicare Victoria financial counsellor Elaine* received an emotional phone call from a young father whose partner had suddenly passed away from an asthma attack.
“He said to me that he was lying on her grave in the middle of the night and was not coping with her death.”
David* unexpectedly found himself a single father with three young children and was struggling financially as well as emotionally. He had to give up his full-time job to care for his kids and did not have enough money to pay for his partner’s funeral.
After Elaine spoke to David, she arranged a loan for him to help pay for part of the funeral costs. She then referred him to Anglicare Victoria’s Emergency Relief centre and assisted the family with vouchers, food and essentials. “The quarterly utility bills were causing distress, but I contacted the retailers and got David on payment plans to help him budget,” Elaine said.
Anglicare Victoria also supported David’s kids through the Children with Hope program, which helps disadvantaged children enjoy every day experiences. David’s eldest son Thomas was really struggling after losing his mother. Thomas would often jump out of his bedroom window in the middle of the night or punch holes in the walls when it all became too much for him to handle. Thanks to the Children with Hope funding, Thomas was able to start martial arts training after school and channel his energy in a more positive way.
Elaine now visits David and his family occasionally, and is happy to see them healthy and well. “When I visit them to drop off hampers that have been donated, they are always so grateful. I know there is a lot of focus on single mum families, but I want people to know that there are many single dads out there that need our help too,” said Elaine.