"My name’s Tobi, I am 16 and I have just spent the last 4 months staying in crisis accommodation.
When I first became homeless I was 15. My family life had always been complicated, the situation had slowly been escalating until it got to the point where I had to leave my mother’s house.
Until coming to TINOCA I spent some time staying with a friend, although due to my friend's own complicated family life, I was unable to continue to stay with them. I then tried living with my father who I had not lived with since I was 11 years old. Sadly, this did not work out either.
At the time of becoming homeless I was attending Youth Futures Community School and was in the process of completing my Certificate II in General Education. The Youth Worker there supported me to find stable accommodation, which led to my stay at TINOCA.
When I first came to TINOCA I was extremely anxious. I couldn’t believe my life had gotten to that point and I had no idea where things were going to go from there. However, as soon as I was shown to my room and was given a tour of the rest of the house, I had this sense of peace; a feeling that things were going to be okay and that it would all work out. I was overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the workers at TINOCA and the continued support I received throughout my stay.
Whilst at TINOCA I learned a number of life skills including budgeting, cooking and cleaning. I also overcame multiple barriers that came up as a 15 year old trying to obtain an income. Thankfully, I was successful. The case manager at TINOCA was able to assist me in obtaining my own birth certificate, bank account and other necessities required to receive a Centrelink income. I was also supported in accessing more appropriate mental health support that was more suited to my needs.
I continued to attend Youth Futures Community School during my stay at TINOCA and I ended up completing my Cert II in General Education. I have now started my Cert III and I hope to one day study Youth Work.
If it weren’t for TINOCA, I would not have grown and developed the skills I have now to assist me in continuing to work towards my goals in life. I felt as if I was stuck in a dark hole when I first became homeless; TINOCA helped me to find my way out. The staff at TINOCA have all had an impact on my life in their own way and this is not something I will forget as I continue on with my journey.
I am excited for this next chapter of my life as I have now secured further accommodation with the help of TINOCA. I am looking forward to what the future holds.
Thank you for everything TINOCA, you were great."