Then I lived with one of my old teachers. Then I went to a foster family for a few years. They tried to find a more permanent family for me but I left there and went to live with a friend and her mum. I was always moving around.
When I first officially left home I had no idea where I was going to go. I had no idea. It was really scary. I didn’t think about anything but where I was going to sleep, what would I sleep on. It’s not a good feeling.
In 2011 I first came to the Salvos. I was such a rebel kid back then though. Always acting up. Always getting in trouble at school.
I would still have nightmares too. So the Salvos created a book for me. They’d get me to write in the book about what happened in my dreams and nightmares and then the next morning I’d show them and we’d sit down and discuss it. They would sit with me and ask how they could support me.
They were just there when no one else was. I liked it here. It was safe, like a family. I’d never had a proper family before. The workers understood me and were so supportive.
I left the Salvos but came back a few years later. I graduated Year 12 last year. I’m not really sure how. The Salvos supported me 100%.
If anyone asked me ‘who’s helped you get to where you are today? ’ — it’d be the Salvos. Look where I am now, look where I’ve come from, look what I’m going to do in the future. It’s all because the Salvos have had my back.
I’m the only one in the family who’s been all the way through school. I’m the only one that’s done a TAFE course. The only one that’s got a job.
If the Salvos hadn’t got involved when they did, it would’ve been a totally different story. They see potential in every single kid. It’s amazing how committed they are.
I would say to other young people don’t give up. There is help. You aren’t alone. Thank you!