James’ Story

24 Nov, 2020

When James was 9 years old, he and his mother Robyn spent over 12 months homeless; living on trains, in cars and couch surfing.

Their lives were thrown into turmoil after a relationship breakdown between Robyn and James’ father that left them in debt, overwhelmed and without support. At this point, James was only 9 years old, but it took a toll on him too.

“It was no good when the bills were a high level and mum didn’t have much money. I didn’t like it when she was like that every time — I was worried and stressed as well. I worried about my mum mostly.”

Robyn really needed a helping hand to get them out of their situation. She knew they couldn’t continue like this, but it was difficult to even face each day.

“I became very sick, just the stress of it all, it consumed every waking thought. It was very hard to wake up the next day”

Hope was found

James and his mum got the help they needed — Robyn was referred to CAP, lifting their financial burden and connecting them to a local church. But there are other families still waiting for help this Christmas.

“Since working with CAP, my health is a lot better without the stress of not knowing what bills are going to be paid and there is money put away for a future and not having to worry about those things. My relationship with James is a lot better because I’m not stressed and snappy with him, I’m able to breathe.”

Beyond taking the financial pressure from Robyn’s shoulders, the family were embraced by the local church.

“As a CAP Centre Manager, from a church that reaches out to people, we just kept on loving this family, and I never gave up, never stopped believing. I’ve always had a great love for Robyn and James. I just knew we had to continue being kind and loving this family.” — Gail, CAP Centre Manager.

All this was over 10 years ago. When they first went debt free, James and his mum shared their story; you can watch it here. Since filming their story in 2014, James is all grown up!

Life beyond CAP

Life for James and Robyn is different these days. James has great optimism about his future and is undergoing some exciting changes.

After recently completing his HSC, James has started working his first job at Oporto! It wasn’t all smooth sailing after going debt free — he admits he had a few rough years in school, but stayed at it.

James has loved youth at church and is very involved there, using his skills as part of the production team, and next year he will be completing an internship with his church.

“I feel my future is bright. I can’t wait to do my internship at church!”


James is full of faith, financially secure, emotionally resilient, capable and well-supported by his community – all things that mean despite a global pandemic, James will be okay.

“Life has been great since CAP. I’ve definitely felt God’s favour on me more and more every day.”

Generational freedom

James was once one of the 1 in 6 Australian children living in poverty. But because of the help offered to his mum, James’ life is now marked by freedom — generational change is possible!

This will be the story of Trixie’s children, who went debt free this year, and for Ron and Mary’s children, who are currently on the journey of going debt free. You can set generational change in motion, give the gift of freedom this Christmas.

Give freedom this Christmas