Homeless at Christmas – Jade’s story
This year, many Australians will face a Christmas like no other.
Job losses and evictions are placing added strain on those already at breaking point. Many more are experiencing poverty and homelessness for the first time.
And with an increase in domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse and mental health issues, more vulnerable young people and their families are turning to Youth Off The Streets for support.
Young people like Jade*. She was homeless, couch-surfing and staying with friends and relatives where she could. When COVID hit, Jade’s options of a place to stay the night soon dried up.
“At first they were worried about where I was going next. After a while they were just glad I was leaving. I didn’t know where to go or who to turn to. I’ve never felt more alone in my life.”
Fortunately, Jade’s story doesn’t end there.
When Jade was wandering the streets homeless, hungry and alone, she chanced upon our Food Van. This vital service, thanks to the support of generous donors like you, had continued running all throughout the pandemic to support young people in need when other homeless services were forced to close.
Our youth workers helped Jade to find a safe and stable place to sleep but the support didn’t end there. They helped her with financial advice, mental health counselling and much more.
Jade felt secure for the first time in many months. She now had what we all need but often take for granted: safety, support, comfort and love.
“I was amazed at how much everyone cared – that people could be that kind to someone they didn’t know, let alone someone like me.”
Jade is now living independently and recently began her studies towards earning a Bachelor of Psychology. She wants to help others, just as we did for Jade in her time of crisis.
It is pleasing to tell you that this Christmas will be very different to the one Jade experienced last year: alone, hungry and homeless, sick with worry about where she could sleep the next night.
This year, Jade is coming to a Christmas lunch held at one of our support services. We’ve planned a delicious meal, the Christmas tree and gifts for the young people in our care.
“I’m looking forward to Christmas for the first time in a long time and a lot of it is thanks to Youth Off The Streets.They looked out for me – they supported me like good friends and families do.”
Jade is living proof that we can change young lives for the better. Your support does that. It keeps our services running. It helps us to reach more young people in need.
And with many young people and their families falling on hard times this Christmas, they need your support now more than ever. If you are able, please make a kind donation today.
Thank you for your support, and may the spirit of Christmas be with you and all those you care about.