When home is under a tree

Pregnant, afraid and homeless – a mother shares her story

November 3, 2023

We used to live under a tree in a park in New Lynn. We were using synthetics (drugs) to cope with the pain of having our two children uplifted by Oranga Tamariki. My youngest was uplifted as soon as I gave birth to her.

One day, Constable Tony came across us in the park. He helped us into accommodation so we could have a better place to live.

We were still having family violence issues, so Tony referred us to the team at Catholic Social Services (CSS). They worked really closely with us, making sure that we had wrap around support.

We even managed to come off drugs, but violence was still an issue.

Sergeant Martin from the police family harm team, encouraged us to get help from CSS.

Our social worker and counsellor at CSS helped me when I fell pregnant again. We were very concerned that we wouldn’t get the chance to parent our baby.

We finally learnt how to communicate better and to live in a healthy relationship without any violence.

We were able to keep our unborn baby in our care, and some of our other children have gradually returned to our care, too. We’re now moving into a bigger home and this year I had another baby.

We are very grateful to the police for introducing us to Catholic Social Services, and for all the support that CSS has given and is continuing to provide for us.

If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, please contact the following: In the first instance, please call the police on 111.  For counselling services, and social worker support, please contact Catholic Social Services on (09 378 9650) or email: reception@cssauckland.org.nz.

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