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Ahmed: Staying engaged

Young man

Ahmed* came to Hope Street after being referred to the local Homelessness Access Point by his year level school coordinator. Ahmed had been living in and out of the family home for the past six months or so and had been in conflict with his father for some time but had a good relationship with his mother. The last incident in the family home resulted in Ahmed’s father taking out an intervention order against him. Ahmed had confided in his teacher that he had no place to go and that he could not find a friend's place to stay at this time.

Ahmed was referred to Hope Street’s emergency bed for overnight accommodation. He was brought to the refuge by the year level coordinator and she picked him up the next day to return to the access point for assistance. The access point could not find him accommodation other than temporary hotel accommodation. Two days later Hope Street’s ‘Five Day Stay Bed’ became available in the BOOST program. Ahmed was referred by the access point and accepted for the vacancy.

Ahmed had in the past been diagnosed with ADHD and had difficulty interacting with others, with personal space and communicating in appropriate ways. Ahmed was quite demanding with staff and other residents had difficulty with his bravado. The residential and BOOST staff managed this well and commented that although he was demanding and often aggravated other residents, he did respond well to direction and his behaviours could be managed. They felt he was gaining insight into how his actions impacted on others and how he was perceived by others. While at the refuge Ahmed continued to attend school. The BOOST staff also organised his income to the independent rate of Youth Allowance and discussed the housing option available for him. At the end of his five night stay, the BOOST staff secured him two weeks stay in a private rooming house that the team had used before, although it was costly with rent assistance and short term HEF assistance he could manage financially till the team organized a $2000 Private Rental Brokerage package from VincentCare. Ahmed is presently in the rooming house and still attending school. The BOOST team are using the Private Rental Brokerage funds to subsidise the rent while Ahmed investigates shared accommodation. He is still in contact with his mother and meets her away from the family home. He is also investigating part-time employment options with the school coordinator.

Ahmed’s experience of family conflict and homelessness is typical for many young people. The intervention that Hope Street services provided limited further disruption and negative consequences for Ahmed. The interventions enable Ahmed to stay engaged with school, provided him with experience within a supportive residential environment where he could develop his independent living and personal skills. Although Ahmed is not currently in the housing; he is now in a position to realistically take control of his housing. He has a strategy, improved skills and support from BOOST to transition to independent living.

(* Not his real name)

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