When Sara was 13 her future looked very uncertain. She was drinking heavily and smoking cigarettes. At home there were blazing rows with her mum.

At 14, she moved out of home completely. Every night, she found herself sleeping somewhere different. Sometimes on a friend’s sofa, sometimes in a hostel – and sometimes on the streets.

Harder drugs entered the picture. Sara’s habits became more and more dangerous. Her life was spiralling out of control.

And then – a realisation. Sara knew she needed help. If things didn’t change, she wouldn’t make it to her 21st birthday.

Sara came to Youth Off The Streets to turn her life around.

Our first task was to find Sara a safe place to live. We placed her in temporary accommodation in a Youth Off The Streets crisis refuge.

Sara entered our Dunlea Alcohol and Other Drug Youth Service to deal with her substance abuse problems. For many young people, persistence is required to overcome drug and alcohol abuse. Sara didn’t make it through the program on her first attempt – but with the support of the Youth Off The Streets team, she completed the program on her second attempt.

And Sara’s education got back on track. She enrolled in Key College, our accredited high school for homeless teenagers and with hard work and determination, Sara completed her HSC.

Life has changed for Sara. She rents her own flat and has a full-time job – and she’s looking forward to celebrating her 21st birthday with her family and friends.

*Name changed for privacy reasons

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Sara came to Youth Off The Streets to turn her life around.

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