Learn more about the lived experiences of young people who have experienced homelessness

Young people's stories

You can read powerful stories from Madelyn, T.J, and Jess below:

Homelessness (PDF 35.8KB)
By Madelyn May-Dessman, a young person who has accessed Frontyard services
"Not knowing whether or not we will have to fend for ourselves for another night, or be safe and sound in a youth refuge, may cause young people to become detached from everyone around us. As we become detached from others, we can lose hope that people do care. We often feel as though there is no one there to support us. Being told that I had secured a bed at a youth refuge gave me hope and a feeling of relief."

On the flip side (PDF 21.2KB)
By T.J Facey, a young person who has accessed Frontyard services

"My life went on hold for three years, it circled between two things; where I was living next, and if I was going to even graduate. I couldn’t go out with my friends, I couldn’t invite my friends around. My body was constantly stressed, I was always on alert because I didn’t know when we would be suddenly forced to move again."

My Journey (PDF, 12.8KB)
By Jess V, participant of Frontyard Youth Services Music Therapy Program and FYAC member at Melbourne City Mission
"I believe that it is good for the community to hear youth voices and their stories. I also wanted to write it because I want to be able to inspire others to share their stories and I would like to influence the community in a way that could create and inspire change."

Melbourne City Mission staff members stories 

You can read a selection of stories from our front line support team below:

Therapeutic Approaches to Family Violence, Trauma and Homelessness (PDF 454KB)
By Stacey Hill, Elyce Sandri and Jigisha Sanghvi, U-Thrive Intensive Family Violence Support Program, Melbourne City Mission
"When family violence renders home no longer a safe haven, young people can experience significant impacts, including complex trauma, homelessness and significant disruptions to their lives. How can we use therapeutic interventions to prevent young people from becoming homeless, and promote their health and wellbeing, life skills, and self-confidence?"

A Glass of Milk: With Mental Health Support (PDF, 28KB) 
By Alana Kohn and Vanessa Leongue, Mental Health Clinicians, check-in @ Frontyard Youth Services, Melbourne City Mission

"At its core, the check-in program is designed to remove the barriers that young people are faced with when accessing the clinical and therapeutic mental health support they need. Often, young people experiencing homelessness do not have a fixed address, they may have misplaced personal identity and Medicare cards, and they may not have a mobile phone."

Journeying with young people through their trauma (PDF, 220KB)
By Magdalena Stanojcic, Case Worker, Western Reconnect, Melbourne City Mission 
"For me, it is quite frustrating hearing many workers who work with young people with histories of trauma telling them that they need to take more responsibility in life. Many of these young people are already exposed to responsibilities over and above what is expected of other young people their age."

Family Homelessness: The Trauma of Parentification (PDF 23.1KB)
Lee Ann Farley and Karol Josevska, Family Crisis Accommodation Service, Melbourne City Mission
"When people think of homelessness they picture a person on their own. But families experience homelessness too, it is simply that they are not perceived as the norm or common. The experience of homelessness for families comes with a range of additional complexities. One of the complexities Melbourne City Mission’s Family Crisis Accommodation Service (FCAS) encounters is ‘parentification’ or role reversal."

Walking the Talk: Self-care and Working with Trauma Reflections of a worker in the youth homelessness sector (PDF 193KB)
By Marita Hagel, Youth Coach, Detour Program, Melbourne City Mission
"Vicarious trauma is a reality of our work and, being empathic people, the young person’s experience of trauma can have an impact on us. We encourage service users to use self-care but we often forget about our own self-care and the supports that are available to us to help keep our self-care intact."

360 Degree Panoramic Views (PDF 74.8KB)
By James James Inabinet, Manager Teaching and Learning Practice, The Hester Hornbrook Academy, with input from Owen Smith, Evita Lopez, Carla Dullard
"For a time in my life I told people I lived in a three-story villa with 360 degree panoramic views of an immaculate garden. The reality, though, was far from glamorous. I had found myself homeless. In the middle of a frosty winter, the only place I could find that seemed safe at night was in the nature reserve that surrounded a three-story children’s park. All I had was the clothes on my back, some bus tickets and a school bag."