"Free accomodation for work" read an advert I saw online. My partner at the time had become abusive and violent and so I got kicked out.
At 17 with no family and friends to rely on I thought why not, sounds like a great opportunity. It was too good to be true, the room was with an older man, a predator and it was extremely unsafe. I needed to escape – and quickly.
Another youth organisation helped me to access BYS. I was nervous and not hopeful at the time but to my surprise BYS had a one bedroom unit available and they accepted me for that. I was over the moon.
I packed my things with the help of BYS while it was safe to do so and moved. BYS helped me buy all the things I really needed at the time but wouldn’t have been able to purchase on my own.
My new home came with other challenges, like nosy, nasty neighbours and learning how to live alone for the first time. Living alone was difficult to begin with, learning to enjoy your own company can be scary. I have learnt a lot about who I am as a person because of this. Luckily I didn’t fall into bad habits such as alcohol abuse or drugs as I had a support worker to guide me with coping strategies. Living alone gave me the freedom to be 17 and with a safe place and clear pathways. I was able to start coping with the situations that had happened to me and start to plan my future.
I was a good tenant and because of this BYS offered me long term housing in the Same House Different Landlord Program. That was honestly the best thing to ever happen to me, I don’t say that lightly. Having your own permanent place to call home in my situation is the one guarantee I have, it makes me feel safe, secure and ready to accomplish anything. Now when I have bad days and I struggle with how things may be going, I look on the brighter side and count myself incredibly lucky.
In my near future I will continue my path of setting out goals and carrying on coping with past issues; hopefully starting study again and possibly full time employment. Eventually I hope to be able to help someone else the way BYS helped me, to give that back to another struggling young person. That would be amazing.
Now when I have bad days and I struggle with how things may be going, I look on the brighter side and count myself incredibly lucky.