Twenty years ago, if someone had said to David Montgomery that he would one day become homeless he'd have laughed.
In the early 1990s, David was working full-time for Victoria's State Electricity Commission supporting his family and paying off his home. Things were, as they say, going well for David.
After the government-run services became privatised, David decided to take a redundancy package. This was the start of his spiral into depression, other health problems and, yes, homelessness.
'I took some part-time jobs, but the decline in my health led to a breakdown with severe depression and anxiety,' he says, 'which then led to me being diagnosed with diabetes.
'I ended up in intensive care, losing my home over mortgage payments. After three months in hospital I was discharged with nowhere to live.'
One of the boarding houses offered to David was so bad that he refused to live there. Even today he's convinced that he wouldn't have survived had he accepted the offer.
'I was then placed in an aged care facility, which was much better, even though I was the youngest person there.'
Four years ago, at his lowest ebb, David found himself at The Salvation Army in Box Hill. 'The Salvation Army has helped me go out and empower people in a similar situation as myself,' says David, who now works as a crossing supervisor and as a volunteer, helping others who are socially excluded.
David says he can't imagine his life without the Salvos. 'I went there one night and have been there since. It has given me a new beginning.'
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