Wayne: I've really had a rough childhood.
Evelin: I had been to 14 different schools. It was really hard, like it's not easy being homeless at 15.
Claire: I was studying at the time, and it was hard not having a place to stay. I honestly didn't care where I stayed as long as I got a roof on top of my head.
Imtiaz: I came to Australia age 15 as asylum seeker. I don't have any family members in Australia, so I was referred to Youth Foyer.
Maria: Youth Foyer's a form of housing for young people. They're usually for young people who've had an experience of homelessness. I think lots of young people, when they're homeless, one of the greatest fears is where am I gonna go to tomorrow.
Jamine: Youth Foyers fill a gap. They fill a gap of vulnerability in the community. They prevent young people from becoming homeless adults. They help educate, upskill, and prepare young people for real-world life experiences.
Maria: Lots of young people find themselves at risk of homelessness or homeless for a whole range of reasons. They've left home because of family and domestic violence. Some young people are leaving the care of the state, and at that point in time, they don't have a caring adult. The importance of the Foyers is that you provide support for young people in a way that's going to help them around the tricky bits that people usually ask their moms and dads about.
Jamine: We had researched the Foyer model, and we thought, what a great model, we wanna do this. This model builds resilience in young people, provides them opportunities and safety through housing, provides them the support and guidance to transition through their young adulthood and into full independence at the end. Now, I've been doing that model for 10 years. I've been able to watch young people go from street sleeping all the way into home ownership.
Maria: There are staff onsite at the Foyers 24/7.
Jamine: Young people of Foyer actually enter into a formal rental lease agreement. This means that they must pay bond, they must pay rent, and they must stay in advance of rent. What I actually see from young people who come into this programme is that they're fully committed and want to engage in earning and learning, that they do wanna look after their unit, and they do care about what their neighbours think about them, that they do respond when you give them feedback, and that they actually do wanna be involved in making the place better.
Evelin: I remember when I first got into the house that I was living in, I was so excited.
Wayne: It makes me feel like I'm becoming an adult now these days because it's changed me a lot. They've turned me into a great man.
Claire: I'm grateful for that because, you know, we go down, talk to them, they help us out, and it's like they're our second parents.
Imtiaz: I've done my Year 12 while being at Youth Foyer. I work at Oxley Police Academy as a security guard.
Evelin: This place gives you, like, the perfect pathways to make your life.
Wayne: It's a beautiful place, it's amazing.
Claire: I was feeling really bad, but now I feel great, I feel really blessed.