It’s been a big downturn over the past 2 years, I got really close to hitting rock bottom.
My new partner is my rock. She has been coming to BYS for many years, since she was 17 years old, and receiving support around mental health and housing. I was starting to struggle with mental health, things coming to haunt me from the past, and she recommended I come in also.
It took a while for me to come to BYS as I thought I could handle it myself. My relationship and home life were being impacted.
Eventually I came in, spoke to some case workers, and eventually was put in touch with Emma who is a dual counsellor. She helped me work through my previous drug addiction too. Emma has been amazing; I could not recommend her more to every single person I meet.
We knew our lease was ending and we started looking for housing. I’d lost my job and we were both on Centrelink. It was a really worrying moment.
We found a place that was a bit out of our budget and took it, mainly because we were scared we wouldn’t get anything else. It felt like a massive risk, the rent is 60% of our income.
BYS helped us get a rental grant for our bond. We wouldn’t have been able to come up with that money otherwise as I wasn’t able to work as I was helping out with my partner. I am almost a full-time carer for my partner now.
We have fallen behind on rent due to bills and emergencies that came up. Our relationship with our landlord has been a bit strained, but BYS have really helped us get ahead of rent, avoiding us losing the tenancy.
They negotiated between us and our landlord to keep us safe in our home. Without BYS I was getting to a point where I was running out of options.
I now come in every week to see my counsellor and my partner also comes in. We find we are running out of food most weeks so take food from the BYS pantry.
The pantry is one of the best things about BYS, just helping with simple stuff like pasta and bread. It takes a toll on your mental health; the cost of living has skyrocketed.
Dr Chris suggested it might be a good idea to get a companion animal. At first, I told my partner we couldn’t afford to, but we worked up a budget and made it work.
Our dog Jett is our baby. He is my partner’s legal companion animal and has been our lifesaver. He has brought a lot of light into our lives over the past few months. The little bit of extra stress trying to feed him is far outweighed by the joy he brings us.
We take him out to a reserve and run with him for hours most days, until my legs hurt. He would be out there every day if he could!
The support we’ve had from BYS has definitely enabled us to get to where we are now, where we can see a positive future.
I’m super hopeful about the future. Everything is still hard and there is still a long way to go, but I’m prepared to make the sacrifices we need to have the life we want.
My partner and I are in a much better position than so many others, we know what’s coming. I see people in the waiting room getting sleeping bags, hygiene products for women, and basic necessities. It’s amazing that this is an option for people living in this area.
We need more hubs like this around Brisbane. Like in the Northside – we used to travel from the Northside to come in, it was our safe place.
I see people coming here in serious poverty and I realise just how close we came.