Help comes knock­ing

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - OPINION - Ju­lian Wright

AF­TER 31 years of mar­riage to an “un­pre­dictable” man, Netta Turner (52) was sud­denly on the street.

The man who vowed to love and cher­ish her was prone to vi­o­lent out­bursts.

One such in­ci­dent 18 years ago left Ms Turner, who is pro­foundly deaf, with a spinal in­jury and hav­ing to use a wheel­chair.

“My hus­band is an al­co­holic,” she said.

“He’d been drink­ing since he was about 15 years old and is al­most 70 now; over time al­co­hol ru­ins the brain and for the last year or so prior to that he just got worse.

“He was very un­pre­dictable; he wasn’t the man he used to be.”

Ms Turner’s hus­band threw her out of the house last Oc­to­ber.

“One Sun­day morn­ing, on the 29th of Oc­to­ber, he sud­denly said ‘I don’t love you any­more, I don’t want to be mar­ried’ and he grabbed some bags of my stuff and through them out the door,” she said. “I had to fol­low them. “From there I went to the Sal­va­tion Army church where I’d been go­ing for the past year,

“I’m a mem­ber of the church and ex­plained ev­ery­thing and said ‘what am I sup­posed to do?’. They man­aged to find me a room at a back­pack­ers for about four days un­til I was able to move into the Bea­con (cri­sis ac­com­mo­da­tion).”

Ms Turner said find­ing a suit­able home was not easy.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult to find some­where that’s wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble,” she said.

“I have now been liv­ing at the Bea­con for al­most five months, but I have man­aged to find some­where.

“I haven’t moved in yet be­cause it needs some mod­i­fi­ca­tions, but I have man­aged to find some­where in Mt Hawthorn.”

The re­tired teacher wants to con­tinue vol­un­teer­ing with an adult lit­er­acy class, planned by the Sal­va­tion Army.

“With my teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, I’m pretty sure I can help oth­ers to learn to read or write,” she said.

“I help with the Red Shield Ap­peal; I’m al­ways col­lect­ing and do­ing things.”

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