Mission Australia launch Easter campaign

Mission Australia launch Easter campaign

A safe and secure place to sleep at night is the essential foundation from which a young person can build a life and go on to thrive. This Easter, Mission Australia is asking the community to consider donating to help vulnerable young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  

Mission Australia’s Easter Appeal features the real life story of Saran. At 19 years old, Saran found herself without a safe place to sleep at night, arriving at one of Mission Australia’s youth refuges with just the clothes she had on, a notebook and a beach towel. 

She had been at the beach with school friends that day but when the train home was delayed, Saran’s mum exploded in anger. She kicked Saran out – with no belongings – and told her not to bother coming back. “My relationship with my mum is complicated,” said  Saran.

“I’ve always felt like the adult in the family.” Originally born in Sierra Leone, Saran has no extended family in Australia. There was no one to turn to for help.

“It was really scary not knowing where to go or what to do,” Saran said.  

“My friends all live with their parents, so I didn’t want to intrude on them.” Thankfully someone at Saran’s church told her to get in touch with Mission Australia. Saran says she was nervous about staying at a refuge at first but when she arrived Mission Australia had a private room, fresh bed sheet, a toothbrush, a set of clothes, and other essential hygiene items ready for her.

Lucy Klianev is Mission Australia Program Manager.  

“It was a relief that we could provide safety and security for young Saran during her darkest moments,” Ms Kilanev said.

“When Saran arrived at our refuge the Canterbury Bankstown Youth Service, she had no identification cards. It might not seem like a big deal but when someone is unexpectedly homeless, these important documents can get left behind. 

“Our team helped her apply for identification cards, find permanent housing and secure a suitable part-time job.”

Family and domestic violence, and relationship breakdowns were among the top reasons why young people asked for help from specialist homelessness services last year.  Around 44,000 children and young people under 24 years are homeless. The experience has detrimental effects well into adult life which can include lower nutrition levels, high levels of anxiety, and reduced self-esteem.  

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