I first became homeless at 15 years old. My dad was addicted to substances and had a lot of different mental illnesses. When I first heard of BYS, it was my dad’s mate who used to work there. He knew I was coming to an age where he could help me with a lot of things, so I decided to do it.
When I was around 16 years old, BYS became a space where I’d come and hang out and just get away from my home life.
At first, I saw a counsellor who helped me with problems I needed to sort out. BYS helped me with a lot of trauma from when I was younger and had experienced abuse. My mother suffered a horrible incident and passed away. Things were really tough.
Not long after, my father also died. I couldn’t handle things, I was doing a lot of drugs and getting arrested, completely going off the rails. BYS workers helped me work through lots of different stuff including court, housing, and my mental health. I saw an alcohol and other drug worker who worked with me around risk management, impulse control and making positive decisions.
They helped me get to a stable place with my substance use which helped me with my housing. A friend asked me to come and live with him, but if I was still off the rails that never would have happened. Even the Admin team always made me feel welcome and took the time to listen. I really appreciate it!
Awhina from the Intake Team helped me complete housing applications. Awhina was great at keeping me calm and grounded, was good to talk to. Craig from the Youth Support Program has helped me with lots of different stuff. He has purchased some items so I can go to work, assist with Centrelink, takes me to appointments, checks in with how I am going and will help with whatever other goals I have. He has never judged me and always given me time of day! He is easy to talk to and helps me when I ask.
The clinic has been good to me, helping with my physical and mental health. They have completed referrals to other services and seen me when I needed help. Thanks, Nurse Karren! For around three years I had been doing part-time work with my uncle who is a contractor. I spent my spare time not doing much, just chilling at home trying to stay away from alcohol. My addiction to alcohol has decreased and I have reduced my substance use. I recently secured a full-time job which means security and stability for me.
I feel pretty good, I have a better outlook on the future. If I need it, I know where to get help!
*W used for privacy reasons.