June 21st marks the Longest Night of the year. A night when Ben and thousands of young people like him will sleep on the streets in the cold to escape unbearable situations at home.
At times, 16 year old Ben’s only option has been to seek shelter in an abandoned building or under a bridge with no protection from the weather… or other people.
It’s situations like this that makes your support so critical. Please give today so we can protect young people like Ben, when they are forced onto the streets.
Ben first reached out for help after living in abandoned buildings and on friends’ couches for over 6 months. The violence in his own home had reached such climatic levels, that Ben did his best to avoid being near his father’s fists. In school he reacted to conflict and challenges with an explosive temper and violent outbursts - a trait that he learnt from his father and which soon led to his expulsion from school. Ben couldn’t return home.
A gleaming light of hope came to Ben by way of Open Family Australia’s NOSH outreach service. NOSH, our ‘Nutrition Outreach Support and Health’ program connects homeless and disadvantaged young people with services they desperately need.
In NOSH, Ben found his one chance for help.
Through tears, Ben shared his story with the NOSH outreach team. He explained how his behaviour, traits he had learnt from a temperamental father, had left him out of school and on the streets.
Open Family Australia connected Ben immediately with crisis accommodation and then a long term housing option. Once Ben was in stable accommodation, our outreach workers were able to work with Ben to identify his personal goals which included a return to education.
By the conclusion of Ben’s support period, he was in stable and safe accommodation, had secured a place in an education institution, was actively applying for part-time work and was engaging regularly in counselling services.
This is the difference that your gift can make. Please give right now or call us directly on 1300 669 600.
There are homeless young people in every city, every town and every state of Australia. Sleeping under bridges, in parks, on someone’s couch or walking the streets alone trying to keep warm through the long dark hours.
Your support will help these young people get off the streets. Your gift will provide the practical and emotional support that these young people so desparately need. Please donate today so they can find a safe warm place to live, with a hot meal, some consistency and stability in their lives and a chance for a better future.