Blake and and Ashley are living proof that the right support and care can lead to a path towards a brighter future.
Please give generously today to provide more vulnerable and disadvantaged young people who have no one and nothing during the coldest of months everything they need to survive this winter, including a hot meal and a warm bed.
As a child Blake had experienced more pain and suffering than anyone should ever go through – a victim of domestic violence, neglect, family tragedy, and sexual abuse.
Blake was only 5 when his uncle started sexually abusing him and when his father passed away shortly before he turned 13, Blake self-harmed for the first time. He had no one to turn to at home and no friends at school.
By the end of that year, Blake was living cold and alone on the streets.
Blake spent months in various psychiatric wards for his self-harming, mania, depression and suicide attempts.
But thankfully, because of kind supporters like you, we got to Blake just in time.
“I was waiting in line for the Food Van. Two of the youth workers came over and asked me if I wanted something to eat and drink. They sat on the grass with me while I had my first hot meal in a long time.”
That moment changed Blake’s life forever. And with a little warmth and kindness, we can change many more.
But it’s not going to be an easy journey with Blake. He has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, anxiety, clinical depression, anorexia and bulimia. Although he now has a healthy relationship with food, he faces an enormous uphill battle to overcome his past.
“Youth Off The Streets saved my life with one meal and one conversation. More than that, they gave me a future.”
Through your support, we can continue to provide everything kids like Blake need to survive this winter, including a hot meal and a hot bed.
When we first Ashley, we learned that she had grown up enduring years of sexual abuse by a family member.
“Mum was in a bad way with her mental health. So when a family member sexually abused me, I didn’t know how to tell her. As a young child, you have no idea how to handle that. When word got out what had happened, it got messy. We had to pack what we could and leave. We were homeless for a while. But at least I was safe with mum.”
Over four years, Ashley and her mother went to countless court dates. So many, that school became impossible and she dropped out. Getting a good education to secure your future seems pointless when you feel there’s no future to look forward to.
“We were shattered when we found out he wasn’t getting charged. Mum tried to get me back into school or employment, but I couldn’t face it. At that point, I was referred to Youth Off The Streets.”
The changes were incredible.
We encouraged Ashley to go back to school and attend counselling sessions, helped her to discover her passion and supported her to find a job. It wasn’t long before her confidence blossomed, her grades went up, and she made life-long friends.
You can make a difference to the lives of kids like Blake and Ashley. Please make a donation so we can support young people in urgent need of our services – and show them that we do care, and we will never give up.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our young people
**All donations over $2 are tax deductible
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