Tania loves her life but for many years the future didn’t look so bright. This is the story of how Tania, now 21, changed her life, with some help from Youth Futures:
“I got kicked out of home at 15 so I started couch surfing at hostels and with friends. At the time I wasn’t on Centrelink because of my age and had no money to buy anything new, pay for any public transport or accommodation so I started stealing.
I have been in detention around 17 separate times for minor charges which include street drinking and stealing. During this time I was using methamphetamines regularly, at one stage it was every day. I had people who had been using for years and went through the same as me and worse, pull me up and say I was better than that and could still succeed in life.
The last time I was in juvenile detention my mother came in to visit me and she saw me at my lowest with track marks and she broke down in front of me. It broke my heart and when I was released on bail I only used 2 more times before I decided to quit.
I moved into transitional accommodation when I was 17, they referred me to Youth Futures’ Housing Support Worker (Corrective Services). When I was exited from the transitional accommodation service I had no other accommodation options. I had to move in with my partner’s grandmother and just over a month after I left I found out I was pregnant.
Youth Futures gave me hope when I was pregnant, they helped me with baby furniture and clothing and household items and furniture. I was housed 7 days before my due date. When my son arrived I had furniture in his room, furniture in my house, a fridge/washer and mental health support for post-natal depression. We worked through this together and I was on the road to becoming a great mother.
I had regular visits and lots of support, even when my house was robbed and I was left with nothing again, we built up a better foundation each time. Through the good times and hard, bad times I was surrounded with positive motivated workers to pick me up and help me move forward. I learnt how to deal with the hard times in an appropriate manner. I don’t look back at my hard times much because I am living a more stable lifestyle, providing and supporting my son.
Since I have been in the program I have had no involvement with the justice system and let go of all the bad influences in my life so my son is surrounded with positiveness, love and care. My relationship with my family has improved majorly and I feel like a whole new person.
I love my life now and hope one day to study at university and provide a good life to my son when he is grown up. With help from Youth Futures I have achieved lots.”