Orphaned and with limited English, Sam came to Australia on an orphan visa from east Africa in his early teens. Arriving with his older brother the boys were initially accommodated by an aunt, but the arrangement soon broke down. Sam and his brother stayed with a woman from their local community but overcrowding prevented this from being a permanent arrangement, and after two years in Australia the boys found themselves facing homelessness.

It was then that Sam came to Hope Street with his brother and began what would be a long but successful journey to recovery and independence.

Sam worked hard to improve his language skills and later noted the benefit living in shared accommodation at the Hope Street Refuge had had on his ability to practice English at home. Facing the difficulty of never having lived independently Sam worked hard to take on the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning while at the Hope Street Refuge – things he had never done before. With support from staff, he also began saving money for the first time in his life, putting aside his first $250 by the time he left the service, a testament to his ability to prevent future homelessness.

During his stay Sam used every resource available to improve his circumstances. He used enhancement funding to buy a laptop for school and later through Creating Connections (CEEP) program, gained funding support to move to a new English school with a trades skills component.

Sam lived at Hope Street for five months before exiting into transitional housing in his local community. Through Hope Street Sam had worked hard to gain both language and life skills, as well as formal education and training, giving him the tools to begin building an independent life.

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