Home is not just a building

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On any given night, there are 116,427 Australian’s recorded as experiencing homelessness. 42% are under the age of 25.

“Probably one of the biggest things is trust and faith. A lot of that disappears when you see people walking by and any one of those can help you out but a lot of people just choose to ignore you. Having a feeling of no home, there also comes a feeling of no hope as well” – Alex, Fusion past resident.

Behind those statistics and faces are stories. “Most people don’t realise that there’s always a story. People don’t realise that they just need that little bit of help to get up and back on their feet. Two years ago I wasn’t really thinking about the next day or the future. [After] Being with Fusion… now I actually want to live life and be as good as I can be.” – Alex, past resident.

My life has not been easy. My troubles started when I was around 11. Things got so bad between mum and I by 15 I wasn’t at home. I spent about four months going from place to place  I moved to Perth. Life on the streets in Perth was a time I don’t even want to recall. To say my life was broken is an understatement, but I decided to come home to Geraldton. Off the bus I saw a poster for Stay, and after a phone call I knew my life was going to change. The youth workers at STAY got me settled into a new way of life in about four months. I started counselling. I quit dope. I enrolled in a course at TAFE and I started to feel better about myself. As I was studying STAY supported me to get Austudy, and then into independent living. Four years on I’m doing ok. My life isn’t perfect but it’s better than it was. I have a place to call home and I’m doing my best”  – Sam, past STAY resident.

Alex and Sam's stories of homelessness end with connection, support and shared hope. Will you help build more than a building?

Friday 9 August Fusion Australia partnering with STAY (Short Term Accommodation for Youth) is hosting Sleep In Your Car at Maitland Park.

Held during Homelessness Week, the local event is in its 4th Year and is part of a nation wide campaign creating community spaces to begin to consider what it means to experience homelessness.

Drop in for dinner or stay the whole night. Where you will learning about the experience of homelessness, listen to a children's story reading, participate in a scavenger hunt, food and coffee.

Register to Sleep In your car or sleep rough to raise the crucial funding to prevent and support local young people experiencing homelessness. The Geraldton event aims to raise $15,000 .

Kayla, 17 years old, slept out two years ago and had her eyes opened. “Last night … I was wrapped up, but yet I was cold everywhere… I couldn’t feel my toes. I couldn’t sleep… [I was] uncomfortable on the ground and… I realised an awful thing. There are people out there tonight and other nights, colder nights, that are sleeping out… They’re doing it because it’s their life and they have no where else to go… I couldn’t do that every night, and I don’t think anyone else should have to either.”

You have the power to help transform the lives of vulnerable young people in our community.

Register for the Geraldton event at www.sleepinyourcar.com.au