19th April 2017
In 2010, LifeCare was incorporated as Crossway Baptist Church’s response to the increasing needs of people struggling in the local community of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Since then, we’ve seen an increasing demand for LifeCare’s services and created a vision to see our programs grow. So in 2012, plans for the LifeCare Centre were formed. Construction of the building was completed in September 2016, and LifeCare moved in just after Christmas of the same year. In celebration for the opportunities this new building will provide LifeCare held a Building Launch on March 19.
Many people who come through LifeCare are struggling with relationship breakdowns, family violence, mental health issues and financial difficulties. LifeCare provides a variety of holistic services including counselling, personal mentoring programs, financial care services and community meals, run by a team of staff and volunteers. In 2016, our programs supported nearly 800 people experiencing hardship, and over the years we have seen stories of transformation in people like Grace and Sam.
Single mum and domestic violence survivor, Grace, struggled to support her baby son and felt isolated and emotionally vulnerable. She said, “I had lost my inner will power and who I was as a person”. Just as she was going to give up on life, Grace was introduced to LifeCare’s counselling and financial services, and through these programs dealt with her emotional and financial challenges. LifeCare also provided Grace with practical aid, such as food packages and clothes. But more than that, through LifeCare, Grace found a sense of community and hope, helping her to flourish in all aspects of her life. She explains, “I now have a beautiful home, my boy is reunited with me, and my sense of belonging, individuality is returning”.
Our mentoring program and financial services helps people like ex-bikie Sam to reach goals and have new opportunities in life. Sam came to LifeCare from a dark place, with financial troubles and an upcoming series of court appearances for custody of his daughter. Through the support of his mentor, Sam was inspired to pursue his passion and start his own horticultural business, which is now booming. Sam’s life has been completely transformed. “My life is a far cry from where I was then”, says Sam. With his financial situation improved, Sam lives happily with his daughter and is a regular face in the LifeCare community.
In the new LifeCare Centre, we have more rooms for counsellors and psychologists to meet with clients, spaces and facilities for community gatherings, and our own pantry space to prepare food parcels for families who are much in need. LifeCare is passionate about helping people in tough places flourish and we want to reach out to and walk alongside more people like Grace and Sam, giving hope and joy.
LifeCare’s COO, Gail Thannhauser, said, “We face growing social challenges, but thanks to our supporters, we now have a fantastic new building to facilitate an even stronger impact in our community”. Through support of our supporters and partners, we are privileged to have this new space created for us to bless the community well into the future