Amy was first removed from her mother's care by the state at the age of 3 due to abuse and neglect. Both of her parents were drug abusers and her father died when she was very young.
She's now 17 and has been working with our caseworkers 3 hours per week for the last year. This is what we call "intensive support".
Amy had multiple foster parents but never dealt with the separation from her biological mum at such a young age.
At the age of 13 — feeling unsettled, lost and traumatised by her childhood abuse — Amy ran away to Melbourne and has been experiencing homelessness since.
We met Amy in 2017 when she came into Frontyard Youth Services, our youth homelessness centre in Melbourne's CBD.
She's traumatised by her childhood abuse. She has a mild intellectual disability that has just been diagnosed but has never received medical treatment or support,
She has never experienced love, guidance and care from a stable parent, so she finds it difficult to process her emotions and express them in a healthy way.
She can't stay at a refuge because the staff aren't trained to support someone with her needs.
Amy is what we call a "complex case". She doesn't fit into a neat category, and her needs are greater than current facilities and staff can support.
Sleeping rough on the streets of Melbourne isn't a choice for Amy. It's a last resort.
For the most vulnerable young people sleeping rough on our streets, like Amy, there's a long journey ahead. And there is simply not enough room for them.
With 6,000 young people experiencing homelessness every night in Victoria, we need your help. With ongoing support from people like you, we’ll be able to assist more young people to get their lives back on track.
Donations come in all shapes and sizes from new cutlery and bath mats to bedroom furniture and a fully equipped kitchen. But we don’t just stop there.
We provide a holistic and trauma-informed approach to homelessness that supports the whole person.
This means creating accommodation that’s fitted with bedrooms and support services all under the one roof.
Our therapy rooms allow young people to express themselves creatively and release the emotional trauma they have been holding in for so long.
She can build relationships built on trust with her caseworkers. She can have her own shower, clean bedding, fresh clothes and make friends in the communal kitchen.
Amy can be herself, her real self, the person she's never been able to be before because of the challenges life has thrown in her way.
And it'll be because of you.