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Sam's Story

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Sam was 17.
Homeless.
Surviving the only way he could.

“Please help me. I’m scared to talk to anyone. I feel I’m trapped in this life and I don’t know how to get out. Please help me.”

These are the words that Sam left on the computer screen in a Salvation Army mobile outreach van one night. He was 17 and homeless when we came in contact with him.

Fortunately, Sam left his email address on the computer screen as well and we were able to catch up with him. Over time he gradually opened up about his life. 

After running away from an abusive home, Sam was taken advantage of by a predatory criminal who got young people hooked on drugs, forcing them to continue working to pay off their debts. 

Sam was lost in a downward spiral of homelessness, drug addiction and abuse. He was terrified, alone and trapped. 

We were able to help Sam. At one of our crisis centres he found friends who offered support without judgement, and a safe way out of the terrifying life he was trapped in. We were able to help Sam find his place and give him the skills and support to break free from homelessness.

As you read this, more than 44,000 sons and daughters like Sam have nowhere to call home.  It’s urgent we reach out and help them escape that life . . . before it becomes a lifetime.

Without the public's support we would not be able to help the thousands of youth, who tonight will be living on the streets. 

Please donate to the Red Shield Appeal today.

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Sam's Story | End Homelessness Now | The Salvation Army

Issue: Youth Homelessness

Young people in particular are impacted by homelessness. They make up 42 per cent of the Australian homeless population.

Homelessness is traumatic, especially for children and young people just beginning to make their own way in life. It makes every day activities like attending school and getting a job, more difficult. They often experience mental and physical health problems.

Read more about youth homelessness.

Service: Salvo Mobile Outreach Vans

The Salvation Army operate mobile outreach vans which are safe places for Melbourne’s homeless and marginalised youth to come and access free computers and internet, tea, coffee and gaming consoles. There’s also access to Salvo counsellors who are there to talk and assist where possible with referrals to other services or programs.

The buses enable Salvation Army workers and volunteers to build relationships with vulnerable and isolated young people to improve their pathways to accommodation, employment and education.

How your support helps

Prevention | End Homelessness Now | The Salvation Army

Through your support we’re often able to identify young people at risk of homelessness before they wind up on the streets, and put in place steps to make sure they never do.

Intervention | End Homelessness Now | The Salvation Army

Your support for services like our Mobile Vans help us make contact with youth who have become homeless – and help get them off the streets before homelessness becomes a way of life.

Resolution | End Homelessness Now | The Salvation Army

Your support will help us heal a broken life, providing a young person like Sam with the education, life-skills, guidance and job opportunities it takes to put their life back together and build a stable future.