Growing up as a ward of the state, Ryan* never really felt at home.

“No one taught me how to live independently. I moved from being a ward of the state into public housing when I turned 18,” says Ryan.

As a young father, Ryan wanted a better life for his son but within two years of living in a public housing unit, Ryan and his son became homeless.

Thankfully, Ryan connected with the team at Mission Australia social enterprise restaurant, Charcoal Lane.^

Through his traineeship with Charcoal Lane, Ryan would soon be learning how thrive.

When my tenancy in public housing became unsafe, I felt like no one listened to me. I found it hard to trust anyone but wanted a different life for my son.

Growing up, I had no one teaching me or giving me advice. I didn’t know how to fill out forms or explain what was making me feel unsafe. I felt like the adults around me at the time didn’t realise that their support could have changed my life.

Charcoal Lane was the first place where someone said I was good at something.

They understood my circumstances, they supported me to complete forms and encouraged me to build my confidence.

“When I needed support, Charcoal Lane was there, not just as a workplace but to support my son and I into appropriate housing.”

My son and I have moved into a new place, I am grateful that Charcoal Lane worked with me, rather than doing for me. I am more confident in my work skills and personal skills.

There needs to be more places like Charcoal Lane for people without a safe place to go when they find themselves in tough situations.

I am lucky that Charcoal Lane exists, but some people are not as lucky.

Thanks to our supporters, Ryan completed his traineeship at Charcoal Lane and is excited for the future.

Learn more about issues affecting young people in our Youth Survey 2020 report.

^Charcoal Lane closed its doors in September 2021.  

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

Charcoal Lane closed its doors in September 2021.

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