Simon lost his childhood to the horrors of sexual abuse. Now 36, he’s still battling the dual despair of mental illness and homelessness. Thanks to you, things are finally starting to change.

Simon was 5 years old when the sexual abuse started.

Growing up, drugs and alcohol dulled the distressing core beliefs that had been forged in his childhood: shame and worthlessness. When he left home, he lurched from one crisis to the next: failed relationships; financial setbacks; homelessness. He started to hear the voices of the paedophiles that molested him when he was a child and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Short stretches of stability have been interrupted by frequent mental health crises. Without the support of a family who long ago drifted from his life, Simon has fallen victim to the violence and chaos of the streets. In the last 12 months, Simon has been stabbed twice and had his throat cut. Sadly, Simon’s story is all too familiar. The current system often fails to protect people with a serious mental illness. Having a safe and stable place to live and a range of treatment is vital.

Giving Simon a future

Simon is now at Mission Australia’s Roma House in Brisbane. This 31-bed temporary accommodation service offers trauma-informed care, hope and support to people experiencing homelessness. Many, like Simon, suffer from mental illness.

Roma House is a sanctuary for Simon. He is responding well to treatment and tackling his addiction. But the long-term impact of child abuse is far reaching. It will take intensive therapy and support to unearth the buried shrapnel of repressed pain that has impacted Simon’s day-to-day functioning for so long.

Our hope is that Simon will recover enough to move into permanent, supported accommodation where he can live a full and meaningful life.

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

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