Overcoming homelessness, young Rebecca* is now thriving. With a safe home, 18-year-old Rebecca completed high school with outstanding results, found a full-time job and recently bought a car.

Growing up in difficult family circumstances, Rebecca found schoolwork challenging. She was determined to finish high school, but in her circumstances, it felt impossible. Rebecca was balancing studies while caring for her younger siblings and maintaining a part-time job.

At 16, Rebecca experienced a violent situation at home. She was devastated to leave behind her younger sisters but without any other choice, she fled for safety. She turned to an aunt who was also homeless and the pair spent several months moving between different family members’ homes.

“I didn’t know where I would be staying or what would happen, or if I went to school if I could go back to the same house,” Rebecca said.

Rebecca had nowhere to go 

Sadly, this is a common situation for many young Australians. In our Annual Youth Survey, one in six young people aged 15 to 19 said they had experienced homelessness.

This included those who had experienced homelessness with or without their families, and had experienced time without a fixed address, lived in a refuge or transitional accommodation and/or had spent time couch surfing.

 One in six (17.1%) young people aged 15 to 19 who responded to Mission Australia’s Youth Survey 2019 have been homeless. [graphic]

Young people who had experienced homelessness were also more likely to express personal concerns about family conflict, mental health, financial security, suicide and coping with stress, than those who haven’t been homeless.

But thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we helped Rebecca break the cycle of homelessness and find a safe home.

Rebecca’s school learned of her situation and connected her with our Youth Accommodation and Support Service (YASS) in Perth. Our team at YASS provides temporary and long-term accommodation for young people.

Our teams taught Rebecca independent living skills, provided her with a safe place to stay and, most importantly, supported her through the final year of high school.

When Rebecca expressed her desire to live with her aunt and younger sister, our team assisted the family of three to find a permanent place they could call home.

With a safe and stable home, Rebecca's confidence flourished. 

While Rebecca was with YASS they listened to her goals and saw her confidence grow.

“A year ago, I wouldn’t talk to people if they didn’t talk to me. It’s definitely brought me out of my shell,” Rebecca said. “(If you are in the same situation) don’t give up, because what you want to happen will eventually happen if you stick to it.”

oung woman smiling and looking toward the camera. “Rebecca is a resilient and driven young person. She continues to break down barriers and make the most of the opportunities she finds for herself and her family.”- Rebecca’s case manager

Fulfilling Rebecca’s dream of having a safe home

Rebecca now has a full-time job and looks forward to owning her own home one day.

“At the moment work takes up a lot of my time, but that is kind of adding to my dream of owning a house one day,” she said. “I’ve never really had anywhere stable to live and my mum never owned a place. Something I really want is to own a house so I know my kids and my grandkids, eventually, will have somewhere that they know is going to be home.”

Thank you to our generous supporters for helping young people like Rebecca.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people we help.

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