When Jessica* came to Youth off the Streets she was just 16. In her own words, she was in “a very bad way”. She was in an abusive relationship, addicted to heroin and living on the streets in Kings Cross.

“I had come to the end of the line,” she says. “Youth Off The Streets was my last hope.”

Jessica didn’t want to live the life of a heroin addict anymore. With the help of Youth Off the Streets she started to rebuild her life.

Jessica needed accommodation and she needed support to overcome her addiction. We found accommodation for Jessica at Lois House, one of our long-term residential programs and assigned her a caseworker who was ready to listen whenever Jessica needed to talk.

At Lois House Jessica attended alcohol and other drug groups. These groups, she says, “helped me face up to my drug use, crime, low self esteem, and anger management issues.”

With the help of a family worker at Lois House, Jessica began to reconnect with her family.

With courage and determination, Jessica took control of her life and made a commitment to finish high school.

She entered Matthew Hogan High School and achieved first her School Certificate and then her HSC. She broke away from her abusive partner and stopped using drugs. She says, “Father Riley and his youth workers helped me to realise that I am worth so much more than a life of drugs, abuse and crime.”

Now Jessica has been clean for two and a half years. She has a part-time job, she’s living independently and she will be starting university soon. “There’s no looking back now,” she says. “Life’s too good and I have too much to achieve.”

*Name changed for privacy reasons

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