Name:

John

Age:

30

History?

I was raised in the northern suburbs... Living on the poverty line. I was raised in a house hold of depression, drugs, alcohol and abuse.

High school years were difficult dealing with sexual identity issues and depression. When going though therapy I was able to understand some of the traumas I had faced in my child hood. Although going through therapies I still struggled with drug and alcohol issues while having no place to live.

I was living in the streets for around a month.. On park benches and bus stops.. Bathroom at flinders street station. I was hanging out with deros.. They had a bad influence on me.

A friend of mine told me about a refuge that helped young people living on the streets... Then I lived there for 2 months . They put me in touch with SASHS which able to organise a one bedroom flat in sunshine which then they referred me to the Visy Cares Hub.

I started counselling at Headspace in sunshine.. Which helped me get sober. TYJ had a scholarship going at the time that helped me work towards a photography certificate. From there I found myself sober and in a stable housing position. I got employment full-time work in a retail shop.

By having the support from TYJ and the services I felt strong enough to face any darkness in my day to day life and look for the light in the future. It made me feel like I mattered and belonged and gave me a purpose.

I started coming in the hub every day, using the computers. I found the strength to say goodbye to my old life and old friends, as I wanted more than I was getting.

Adversities/Pressures

Growing up knowing my father committed suicide 9 months after I was born led to my depression as I felt it was my fault. Then the sexual abuse I was put through made my drug addiction worse.

To get off my drug addiction I started to drink... So that I could sleep.

I was homeless 4 times and I lived in a hotel for 6 months which I couldn’t afford.

Being gay bashed to near death and refused support from religious services because I was gay was really hard and made me feel like I wasn’t worth anything.

One of the biggest depression states was when my mother died.

The Visy Cares Hub helped me get past all of this. I was able to volunteer for events programs and groups/committees. It was then I realised I was meant for more.

The volunteering showed me how much I could assist other young people in the future because of all the things I have been through and gave me guidance to know what I want to do with my life.

Gratitude

I am most grateful for living … if I kept on the path I was on I would not be here. I am grateful that I am working full time and completed my studies … I did a diploma of community services.

I am proud of remaining sober for a long time... And not going back to my old life and habits.

Current and Future Plans

I am working full time … I just finished my diploma so I am hoping move to the next stage of my life.

I want to be a youth worker. I want to help young people achieve their potential. I want to create a mindset for young people that shows them to never live in the darkness and to embrace the light.