HomeI Am A Young PersonStoriesMohammed: CALD* and homeless

Mohammed: CALD* and homeless

Young man

*CALD - Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

Mohammed, a 17-year-old Somalian young person arrived at Hope Street in 2011. Mohammed along with his siblings, had fled war-torn Somalia, moving to Egypt and then to a refugee camp in Kenya where they lived for three years before coming to Australia. In 2010, their cousin sponsored them to come to Australia. They lived with their cousin for a short time; however, this arrangement broke down when their cousin moved to Queensland, leaving Mohammed and his siblings’ homeless.

Together they slept out rough, in squats and at train stations. Sometimes on very cold nights,
they were able to stay with friends, but this was only ever on a short term basis. Mohammed and his siblings sought the help of the Refugee Minor Program who supported them to secure a private rental property. However, this was financially unsustainable and caused conflict between Mohammed and his siblings. It wasn’t long before they were not able to make rent and bills and were asked to leave the property. Mohammed’s siblings packed up and relocated to Perth, leaving Mohammed alone and on his own in Melbourne. It was at this point in time, that Mohammed was referred into Hope Street. When Mohammed arrived at Hope Street, he was very determined and motivated to change his situation and to make a home for himself in Melbourne. Mohammed thrived living within the Hope Street refuge model.

With the support of staff, Mohammed continued to play for a local soccer team, enrolled into a college to complete his Year 11, commenced a food handling course, started driving lessons, explored work experience and employment options and also continued to look for longer term housing. Despite, Mohammed’s enthusiasm, hard work and the relentless number of housing referrals put forward for longer term housing, Mohammed’s applications were knocked back. Like so many other young people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, Mohammed experienced multiple barriers to finding longer term housing in the private rental market. As a result, Mohammed’s stay at Hope Street was reviewed on a regular basis and extended. Mohammed stayed in the refuge for seven months. Finally, after multiple failed attempts to secure longer term housing, Mohammed secured a tenancy in a transitional property through Vincentcare. On exiting the refuge, through our Enhanced Youth Refuge Brokerage, Hope Street purchased a bicycle and accessories so that Mohammed could ride to the nearest public transport station and travel to soccer. Mohammed is currently receiving support as an outreach client from Hope Street. He is very happy living in his new property and continues to remain engaged in his schooling and local community via his sporting activities.

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