Gary, my Street Walk Manager travels around Sydney most nights of the year helping homeless young people.
Sophie was one such young person who had been homeless since she was 14. Her mum had died and her dad was violent and used drugs. His new partner didn’t want Sophie around:
Says Gary: “She didn’t feel welcome at home. She didn’t even have a bed! So she spent all her time on the streets.”
When Gary found out about her situation at home, he took Sophie to a refuge and helped her enrol in one of our schools.
“Even when she didn’t know where she was staying, she made sure she had her books to take to school every day. She lugged them around wherever she’d go.”
This young person knew that getting an education was the best way out of her situation. Just to be able to attend school with her life in turmoil shows such strength of character.
It never ceases to amaze me how remarkable these young people are and the effort they will go to turning their lives around when given the chance.
As Gary says, “Many homeless and disadvantaged young people feel they’re alone and no one out there cares. But if someone shows even the smallest kindness to these kids, amazing things can happen.”
“When we believe in them, they start to believe in themselves. They believe they have a future to look forward to.”
Sophie took that opportunity and made the most of it, finishing school through our education program. She went on to live independently, finding stable accommodation and now works as a counsellor, helping young people who need that extra support, just like she did when she was their age.
It’s my hope for the future that we can reach out to more vulnerable young people, giving kids like Sophie the opportunity to overcome their challenges and turn their lives around.