Fresh Hope Stories

Heartbreaking video!
Heartbreaking video shows dad telling 8-year-old son his mother died from a drug overdose

“Six months after promising my family I would never go back to jail, there I was again. This time in a worse situation than before. Desperate to be with my son I sought out Fresh Hope and was given a life changing opportunity. It’s been nine months now and with my son by my side every step of the way, with the support and dedication from everyone here at Fresh Hope I am re-discovering how to live a substance free life and be happy. If it wasn’t for Fresh Hope I would be sitting in a jail cell for the next few years. Words can’t express how thankful I am to everyone for helping me get my life back on track and for giving my kids back their mum.
Before coming to Fresh Hope I was very distant as a parent to my kids. My youngest who is 3, had no boundaries at all and was longing for attention from his mum. My eldest who is now 18, grew up and I missed it all. With the support of Fresh Hope and everyone who is a part of Fresh Hope my 3 year old now has boundaries and attention that he needs and I’ve started to rebuild a relationship with my eldest daughter.” T

“Before coming to ‘Fresh Hope’ I had hit rock bottom. I was just about to hit the streets of the Sunshine Coast again!! I was 7 months pregnant. My two older children were living with their father and I had forgotten how to live a substance free, fulfilling life. With this being my situation I thought my only option was to put my unborn child up for adoption.

I have been at ‘Fresh Hope’ just over 11 months. I am currently in the last stages of the program. My older two children have been living with me for the last 6 months and now I have legal residency of them. I also have my little man of 10months who I was pregnant with on arrival at ‘Fresh Hope’ What a blessing he is to my life.

While at ‘Fresh Hope’ I have learnt so many necessary life skills. I am currently paying off my debts, a lot of which have been hanging over my head for the past 10 years. I have re-connected with my family, learnt to deal with so many things and to have perseverance and courage to face and jump hurdles. I have a job and am aiming to get my car licence next.

Karen and John have shown us all what a family unit is all about. Now I aim to build on what I have learnt. I am looking forward to getting my own home with my children and keeping goals in my life. Goals keep you focused on what you want to achieve and striving toward them is very satisfying.

I have just found out my graduation date which I think is very special because it is on my son’s first birthday. I couldn’t think of a better time, as if it wasn’t for ‘Fresh Hope’ he wouldn’t have been able to share this day with me.” C

“After a number of rehabs, bankruptcy and a possible jail term pending, I was ready to die. With my car connected up to the hose I sat inside with the engine running, my body shuddering with the grief and pain of a life lost, mine. In some other distant world, I could faintly hear the sound of a telephone ringing. I don’t know why I did it, but I cut the engine and went to answer the phone, it was Karen. That was just before I came to Fresh Hope, and today I have been given hope…Fresh Hope that I could never have had lying in a coffin or a jail cell.

Where I once was failing my studies, I have now successfully re-taken up my subjects externally. When I once couldn’t hold down a job, I now have a part time position. I am in my 20’s and my life has dramatically changed for the better. The most important thing is that I’m clean.

I’m slowly picking up the pieces of my self-respect and re-building relationships with my child and family. Although I’ve failed miserably in a number of previous rehabs, I’ve finally come to the revelation it’s not the rehab that didn’t work, it’s that I didn’t work the rehab.”

“Life for me before Fresh Hope was very dark and numb. I lived the streets dealing drugs to support my habit. I had no fear for my life nor did I acknowledge I had a son who lived with my mother.

I started going down a very bad path 13 months ago and was sent to jail for 7 months. I wrote to Fresh Hope to see if they would accept me into the program. I knew I needed to see if there was a better life out there.

I’ve been at Fresh Hope just over six months and the changes I have seen in me and my boy are huge. We are a family for the first time. I now have goals in life which give me direction for where I am heading. I’ve learnt so many life skills such as cooking, cleaning, budgeting and how to be a mother. I have got core values in my life and I have future goals of completing my hairdressing course and owning my own salon.

The Fresh Hope staff has walked beside me on my journey. They have believed in me every step of the way. I thank you all for giving us a fresh start to life. K.”

“My life before Fresh Hope was unsatisfying for my children and myself. Even though I am the proud mother of four beautiful children and one grandson I knew there was more. I knew with each day and another bad choice I was squandering away the chance to be all I could be as a mother and all I could be as a person.

As life continued to go from bad to worse I used to think why? How come really me again. It wasn’t the rest of the world that didn’t get it. It was in actual fact it was me. I knew this but still continued down the dark road into the pitch black with my bad choices and victim thinking. I hurled myself into so many addictions that were going and stayed this way for some 22 years, landing myself in jail away from my children on so many separate occasions.

All the terrible things that a person could experience happened to me, including dying three times, once in a horrific car crash. Nothing woke me up!!

Finally it was the thought I could lose my last born child, my son, my age, my longing for the capability to do it all so very differently. For my children to be proud of me, importantly for me to be proud of me, living up to the potential I know I have, living my life for the purpose I was intended for.

Fresh Hope has helped me finally not only make a change but to follow through and maintain commitment. It has given me the support, love, care, acceptance and belonging I have so desperately needed. And the calls on my past behaviours that I have chosen to let be a part of me for so long. They have helped me to realise my mask of protection, to know it’s ok to let go, to trust – its ok to be vulnerable and real. Its ok to be me and its safe.

With everything that has happened in my life I have finally found the place and family to turn me around and help me to be myself and turn my life back around forever. I love the Fresh Hope family. It is solid to the core. Without Fresh Hope I may have lost my son and gone back to jail, losing hope and valuable time. Now I have been clean for 3.5 months for the first time in 22 years and thanks to Fresh Hope and their belief in me in turn helping and supporting my belief in myself.

Throughout my life I have often danced the ‘ Cha Cha.’ Fresh Hope is now teaching me to dance the ‘Can Can.’ I can and I will!!

So thanks to Fresh Hope. There are no words to convey my most heartfelt gratitude. M”

A parent’s story:

My daughter Rebecca was a skeleton. She was literally dying before my very eyes, it was just a matter of time before she would have to be hospitalized with organ failure. She had already been into hospital on several occasions previously and she knew what she was doing to herself but she just couldn’t help herself by stop taking drugs.

The feeling of desperation and hopelessness I felt was absolutely overwhelming. I had absolutely no idea where to turn to. We had been down so many different paths and nothing had worked for her. She had been to psychiatrists, counsellors, drug rehabilitators, Miraki, Logan House and South Pacific and nothing worked.

My daughter had two young children and whilst she tried in her own drug dependant way to look after them it absolutely broke my hearts to see what was happening to them. I knew if I took the children off her as I had done once before it would totally destroy her, so did I save my grandchildren and sign what I knew without any doubt would be a death warrant for my daughter.

I spent hours on the internet checking out every rehabilitation centre in Australia but they all said the same thing, Rebecca would have to leave her children with me, a plan I knew without any doubt would fail before it had even started.

By sheer luck I found Fresh Hope. I had never heard of it. After reading their web page and calling them I myself finally had some small hope. Rebecca would be living in with her children, I to this day do not understand how they can expect any drug addict mother to possibly recover by isolating her from her children.

At the interview we were told that we would have to wait for a vacancy. I was absolutely devastated. I did not know how much longer Rebecca would agree to go for. I think Karen must have seen my desperation because she agreed to take her straight away

I look at Rebecca and my grandchildren now and I just can’t believe the total difference in such a short time. Rebecca is the absolute picture of glowing good health. Not only has she learnt how to live her life without drugs but she has become an exceptional mother. I am so incredibly proud of her for how hard she has worked to turn her life around.

Karen, John and their team at Fresh Hope have performed absolute miracles when nobody else could. They have given me back my daughter and my grandchildren their mother. Rebecca has her pride and her dignity back and for that Karen and John have my everlasting gratitude.

Before Fresh Hope Rebecca had absolutely no life. She hated herself, she hated what she had become, she had no self respect, she just felt she was totally worthless and good for nothing. Fresh Hope was able to show her what I had always known about her. Rebecca has always been a beautiful, funny, caring and generous person who would give her last cent to anybody she thought needed it. There were many very sad reasons that Rebecca turned to drugs and she got so lost she couldn’t find her way back until Fresh Hope showed her the way.

My daughter was fully dependent on amphetamines. She was a delightful child growing up-no problems .She fell in with the wrong crowd (don’t ever say it won’t happen to your child). and a nightmare began. My heart was broken and I was desperate. My daughter also had a 3 yr. old child and was the main reason she would not go into rehab. She would not leave her child not even with me.

Absolutely “rock-bottom” my daughter somehow contacted Fresh hope and was accepted in with her child.(the only place in Queensland where you could take children) I was so relieved that someone had taken on the situation especially a big bonus being that John and Karen were practicing Christians as I am. They portrayed this in their care of the mothers and their children I was not allowed to contact my daughter for 6 weeks -I think this was to allow her to integrate into Fresh hopes way of life with strict rules to be adhered to. I was strongly encouraged to have visits/take home my grandchild which I did. During this critical period of the first year and onwards, my daughter really missed me and I her but it had to be done.

I will be forever grateful for Fresh hope creating a loving family atmosphere for both.  I loved John and Karen being called Nannals and Poppy by the children. They felt secure with this. They trusted them coming from a world of verbal, maybe physical abuse and neglect which goes with using drug substances. They felt loved-big bear hugs, unconditional love, no broken promises, and honesty. This happened while the mothers were recovering learning to have emotions again and to make wise responsible decisions. It was very special to me. Thankyou for handing back to me not only my daughter who can now fully function, but also my grandchild who was given its mum back and was given unconditional love and understanding when it was most needed.