Alex - Realities Of Life On The Street

Alex - Realities Of Life On The Street

All the services around Nowra now know about us up here, all at the same spot (Nowra Showgrounds).

We've got one person who comes from the Aboriginal Medical Service who checks up on us every couple of days. He organises meetings with the council and that's good. But it would be good if people come up from services and ask if we need anything to do with housing, or case management work. 

I think a lot of homeless people need more help with their mental health and even opportunities to learn a little about self respect.

I've got a tent. I live pretty comfortably. It's basically like constant camping. We've got power up there so we can charge our phones, but we are still always cooking off the fire.

I miss waking up and having a shower. That's probably my main thing. And I miss having a safe environment for my two children to visit. They are 14 months old and even though I'm on good terms with their mother, she won't let me have them because I don't have a safe environment for them.

For me to get up and cook my dinner it takes 10 times longer than it would if I had a kitchen. To have a shower sometimes you have to wait three days before you can get back to somewhere like the Shoalhaven Homeless Hub.

I'm on youth allowance until I turn 22, so I can't afford a house in Nowra. Not even in Sanctuary Point where it's a little bit cheaper. They don't even give me a go.

I've lived in about three other people's houses, but something would happen and I've just had bad experiences living with people I don't know. I didn't like it at all.

Up at the showground there are probably about 20 homeless people. The Homeless Hub puts on these free breakfasts, but a lot of people are ashamed about getting a free feed. We are all homeless but some don't like to take advantage of the resources the community has, but I think they should.

I think that every homeless person should utilise the services in the community to make themselves as comfortable as they can, and as recognised as they can, so that people will know when to help.

If you don't ask for help no-one knows that you need it.

It took me a long time. I'm only 21 years old and it took me four years of being homeless to realise that I need to talk to housing — even Richmond Partners in Recovery — any sort of case management services like that.

If you are homeless you will not be able to do it yourself. It's too hard to pick yourself back up without asking for someone's hand, asking for help.

Contributed with assistance from the Shoalhaven Homeless Hub.

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