From the age of 11, Steve was living on the streets and by the time he turned 13 he was already addicted to substances and suffering from depression and low self-esteem. His upbringing was extremely traumatic, having been raised by parents who were both substance users.

This young person arrived to Sydney from regional NSW after years of being on the streets and numerous failed attempts at rehabilitation services. When he was first approached by Street Walk staff he felt alone and isolated and was contemplating suicide.

Street Walk staff got to know him over a long period, providing him with food, blankets and regular contact during the week. Initially, he was reluctant to take the offer of accommodation at Don Bosco House, but after a long period of working with him on the streets, he came to trust the staff enough to accept their help, and this is where things first started to change for Steve.

It is from there that he started to engage with the refuge staff and the Youth Off The Streets psychologist, Anna Michalopoulos. He soon went from being an overnight stay at Don Bosco, to becoming a permanent resident and getting his own caseworker. Steve’s allocated caseworker from the Inner West Youth Homelessness Service referred him to counselling to address his depression and low moods which originated from family and trauma issues.

After six months of counselling intervention the young person’s mood started to lift. He started to believe in himself and as a result was able to secure part time employment and began further studies.

Steve’s caseworker helped him to prepare for transitional accommodation by providing him with living skills, case coordination and aftercare even after he moved out of the refuge and into transitional housing.

Steve has since moved on to stable transitional housing and is continuing his study and work. Although the resentment that he has towards his family is still there, he is now better equipped to deal with these emotions and work towards building a better future for himself.

*Name changed for privacy reasons.

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