July 21 2015


Young people are experiencing a new form of disenfranchisement when they transition from out-of-home-care to independent living. The last five years has seen a big surge in “couch surfing”, the practise of sleeping on someone’s couch on a short-term basis. The ABC call it, ‘the modern homelessness’[1]. Young people’s homelessness is masked because the security of a couch, or temporary residence, disguises the uncertainty of their future, and the tough position they are in.

When Matthew contacted Next Step After Care, he had been couch-surfing for eighteen months.

Matthew needed an advocate to help him get a bond loan, to deposit on an apartment. Next Step After Care negotiated with the Department of Housing and Public Works. The bond loan was approved, and together they helped Matthew land his first flat. Matthew says, ““It’s the first time I’ve been able to call a place my own.”bike - matt 2

Next, they transformed Matthew’s new flat from a house into a home.

Matthew and Next Step After Care worked with YHARS (Youth Housing and Reintegration Services) to get the essentials for his new pad. Matthew was given a new fridge, washing machine, dryer, bed linen, and bath towels. With a little extra help, Matthew was taking the next step to find his groove in adult life.

The only thing left was to help Matthew have a way to get around town. Two months before, Matthew’s only mode of transport was lost to him; his bike was stolen at Church by a fellow parish member. A bicycle is a fantastic addition to any lifestyle: you stay fit and healthy, and save money on expensive public transport fares. When Matthew told Next Step After Care his misfortune, they knew Matt’s bike was critical to keeping his independence. YHARS went above and beyond by funding Matthew’s new bike.

Matthew wanted changes in his life, but didn’t know how to make them happen on his own. Matthew contacted Next Step After Care to make his life become the one he deserved. Sometimes, you just need a little extra help, and the right person to go in and bat for you. Next Step After Care can help ANYTIME for ANYTHING. All you have to do is take the FIRST step and call 1800 NEXT STEP, to make your life the one you deserve.

[1] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-17/new-report-shows-rise-in-demand-for-homelessness-services/5160600

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