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Mel’s story

Feb 26, 2022

Before coming to CAP, Mel felt trapped: “Rent. Power. Freaking out. Being stressed out every day over financial stuff… all of that just stops you from living, like literally living.”

Mel was working hard, but her income was nowhere near enough for her and your young son to live. Two-minute noodles were her go-to meal. She would lie awake until 3am, fretting about rent, power and overdue loan payments.

“Life before CAP – it was legit out of control. We were basically living on $50 a week. This just doesn’t allow you to eat. It got to the point where I had insomnia… Life before CAP was a panic room. You’re cornered in every part of you. No way out.”

But this strong woman, this wāhine toa, was determined to fight for her and her son’s future. Mel says she had ‘one moment’ of realisation in her first phone call to CAP: she clicked that this was actually going to work.

It was a long time of being unstable… but in that one moment I knew I was going to be held up… [With CAP] no one’s going to let you fall… I didn’t feel one bit of judgement whatsoever. And the weirdest thing that I’ve ever heard someone say to me over the phone was, “Can I pray for you?”

After that prayer, a local CAP Debt Help Coach visited Mel’s home, together with a support person. Mel sometimes struggled to trust people, but their kindness put her at ease.

“When I physically gave those bills, I guess a bit of me went with them. And that was the old me… It’s so reassuring – someone comes in and knows you’re going to get out of it.”

“We went from $50 to $150 a week on food. I bought something that has better quality, that is better for my health and better for my son’s health. And I didn’t have to worry anymore. The biggest change is that I slept… because someone took the pressure off me. It was the support that I needed, the support that I never had for so many years…”

Mel remains grateful for the free, life changing Debt Help and holistic support she received. The impact on her and her son has been profound.

“We have time to actually focus on each other, see our weak points, our funny points, our strong points… We gained so much – relationships, relationships with God, a better understanding of God. Right now… I would have to say there is a lot more meaning… more feeling and understanding. Yeah, I can say I have faith today.

Mel’s CAP Debt Help journey allowed her to reclaim the most important things like quality time with her son. And it enabled her look at money in a whole new way.

My hopes are to finish my degree, and be teaching in early childhood. CAP has given me my life. It has given me a lot of hope to dream. The future for my son and I, is full of possibility.”