I was very blessed to have noticed at a young age that I was living in a dysfunctional home. The verbal, emotional, and mental abuse I was dealing with was too much for me.
At only 16 years old, I left home for my own wellbeing. That was one of the best and worst decisions I’ve made. I lost a lot of people and bonds who I never thought would leave my side. My family disowned me and I was scared and alone.
I remember my experience of homelessness as if it was yesterday. I went from house to house, struggling with finding accommodation. I was very lucky that a close friend helped me reach out to the Youth Advocacy Centre to help me find accommodation while I was trying to balance school and life on my own.
Unfortunately, due to moving around so much I started falling behind at school, to the point where I got unenrolled. Faced with these life challenges I was determined to get stable accommodation, stable income, and graduate.
I moved several times couch surfing at friends to strangers continuously. It was extremely exhausting, unsafe, overwhelming, and frustrating not having stability. My mental health, confidence, and hope started going downhill. I lost many friends and the one that hurt the most… I lost my self-love on this journey.
Hopeless, uninterested in anything, broken… was how I felt before entering Phoenix House. Little did I know, that experience I had with them would be the start of a new change in me.
I learnt so many life skills from them, I was so grateful to have been accepted into the house because it was also during the start of COVID. While I was there:
- I learnt how to cook like a pro
- I became more productive
- I felt like it was okay to come out of my shell I’d been stuck in for so long
- I achieved every goal I had set my mind to, including being a 2022 class graduate
- I started to glow differently
Blessings after blessings just kept coming my way after I reached this new version of me. I got upgraded into another very fancy house by BYS. I have to admit I was nervous moving alone, but the greatest part was I still had the support I needed. BYS even gave me a bicycle so I could get to work!
Eli from the Positive Transitions Project helped me realise my dream of being an entrepreneur, growing my own business selling beauty products and accessories online. I’ve met so many great people in this process, including Holly the owner of Live in Your Light, and Steve Baxter, from Shark Tank. They have definitely helped me understand my business.
This year, I started studying at a school for entrepreneurs, being coached on how to run my business. It helps me to stay organised and focus on achieving my goals.
I couldn’t have done it without BYS, they’ve changed my life so much. One day, when I become well known, I’m definitely going to recommend your services a thousand times for the kids who were once in my shoes.
For anyone who is losing hope on their journey of being homeless, don’t give up and ask for help! And never dim your light for anyone, because your light could be what someone else needs to see.