Simon is now in his forties, living in Sydney with his family, he has a nice home and a good job. This story shows what a huge difference can be made to the direction of a young person’s life with support. He left home as a teenager, couch surfing for a bit, then living in a car with some other kids before the police took it away. After the car, Simon ended up spending time with other Northern Beaches kids, sleeping rough, taking drugs and stealing. Some of the kids he hung out with overdosed or were taken away by police, not an uncommon experience for young kids on the streets. Simon refers to the time as “a low point in his life”.

Simon met one of our Case Managers, Warren, by chance and attributes the turnaround in his life to him. “He was the one who got me back on track and I am forever grateful to him.”

Simon and his girlfriend had been hanging out with another couple for some time, sleeping on the floor of their accommodation and hiding from Warren. Rather than kicking them or the other couple out, Warren helped them.

Our Case Managers’ work aims to develop the potential of young people and strengthen the communities they live in. The Burdekin Association organised for the couples to stay at a local backpackers until suitable accommodation was found. Things started to change for the better. Simon started attending TAFE and with regular visits from Warren who supported him with his TAFE work, life skills and looking for employment, he began to thrive. After a number of years with us, Simon did eventually move home back home. When he occasionally passes where he lived at Burdekin it brings back good memories.

Without Burdekin we don’t know what would have become of Simon. For some the transition from childhood to adulthood is more difficult than for others. The Burdekin Association is here to help children and young people … physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.

Today, Simon says: “I honestly believe Warren and The Burdekin Association have helped me get to where I am today. And I thank you all, Warren especially so very, very much. I wish you all the best and keep up the good work.”

There is no better news than this for us. We love hearing from former residents, we love hearing how the supportive environment we aim to  provide has actually had the impact we thrive for.