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James & Jim: When family and friends break down

Sleeping rough

James (20 yo) and Jim* (17 yo) were friends that were living with family friends and were unsure of the tenure of where they were staying.

James left his family home due to a relationship breakdown with his father. He then moved in with his girlfriend and that relationship broke down leaving him homeless again. He couch surfed for some time and was then living with a friend’s family. He also had depression and anxiety. He was looking for work but found this difficult due to a having a broken hand and only able to do labouring work.

Jim had to leave his family home due to ongoing conflict with his mother, which resulted in police involvement and Jim not being able to reside with his mother. He moved out and was staying temporarily with a friend’s family. He was working full time however due to only being 17 yo he was unable to access private rental.

Both of these males wanted to access a private rental property together with another friend.

Through BOOST intervention, they were supported for 3 weeks:

  • Received a referral on the Friday and immediately contacted the clients. Arranged an appointment for the Monday once it was established they could be housed for the weekend. Assessment and Case Plan completed at the Monday appt.
  • Looked at private rental properties via the web and discussed how to present at an inspection, etc.
  • Contacted real estate agents and asked about hard to let properties and that three young males in which one was working full time would be eligible for.
  • Provided information about financial entitlements such as Bond Loan, Private Rental Brokerage, Rent in Advance, etc.
  • Referred James to Northern HYDDI for some support with his depression and anxiety. This referral happened immediately after the assessment and a meeting with Northern HYDDI, BOOST, and James happened three days later. Northern HYDDI and BOOST co case managed James' mental health issues.
  • Referred Jim to the Hope Street Youth Reconciliation Program (YRP) for some support around the relationship with his mother and the grief he was experiencing due to the death of his father. Jim was contacted by YRP a few days later.
  • Linked James into a Youth Employment program through VincentCare.

After viewing some private rental properties and the cost and responsibilities for James being the main leaseholder (due to Jim’s age), they felt that they were not ready to enter into private rental. Both respectively spoke with their friend's families with whom they were residing and they negotiated a more permanent living arrangement.

James enrolled in a business course and accessed a local Youth friendly GP (referred to by Northern HYDDI) for assistance with ongoing support and medication for his depression. Jim will continue working casually full time and apply for full time permanent position at the company. He will look again for private rentals when he turns 18 years old. Until that time he can continue staying with his friend’s family.

(* Not their real names)

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