Cassie* was just 14 when she first sought help from Mission Australia. In her early teen years, she experienced a number of behavioural challenges and turned to substances as a coping mechanism. Cassie was unstable at home and became homeless, but managed to keep a roof over her head by couch surfing with friends. She stopped going to school around this time.

Mission Australia case manager Tamara began working with Cassie at one of our Flexible Learning Centres in South Australia last year. Tamara initially helped Cassie build confidence in her capability and independence as a young person. She then focussed on helping Cassie understand the importance of reconnecting with her mum and reengaging with education.

Tamara assisted Cassie to access stable housing, welfare support and learning opportunities, and played a vital role in beginning to rebuild Cassie’s relationship with her mum.

With Tamara’s support, Cassie has stopped using substances entirely. She now regularly uses her experience of becoming clean to inspire other young people with similar problems. Cassie returned to school last year and finished Year 10. She’s currently completing Year 11 as well as a certificate in child studies, and one day hopes to become a youth worker.

Tamara recently received this letter from Cassie, whose life has turned around completely thanks to the support she received from Tamara and Mission Australia.


Wow! Where do I even start? You are honestly the most amazing, resilient, kind-hearted person I have ever met. You have helped me through so much, taught me that there is more to life than meets the eye, and that no matter what you have to keep fighting because things really do get better eventually.

Last year I was in a really bad place and you helped me get through. Even when I made it really hard for anyone to help me, you never gave up. You not only encouraged me to stay in school and stay away from bad habits, you showed me the importance of keeping relationships with certain people, and that it is okay to ask for help. Most importantly you motivated me to live, and that is a debt I will never be able to repay. I have no idea where I would be now if it wasn’t for you. It scares me just to think about it. Despite only knowing you for about a year, you played a massive role in my life and helped me become the capable, independent person I am today.

I’m so grateful for everything you have done, not just for me but for my mum as well. I want you to know that my mum and I are now closer than we have ever been and that has a lot to do with you. You taught me to be strong and to fight for what is right and to always try to fix the important things in life, even when it seems impossible.

Thank you!
Cassie xoxo

*Names and images have been changed to protect the identities of the people we help

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