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Skip Navigation LinksDepartment of Housing and Public Works > Housing > Homelessness > Homelessness Week > Homelessness Prevention Week 2015 > Case studies > Bridget's story

 Bridget's story

Bridget looks back and laughs at the irony of her struggle with homelessness.

The 21-year-old was taking part in an Ipswich Community Youth Service (ICYS) youth homelessness sleep out when she received a text message from her housemate saying she was no longer welcome at home.

“You don’t expect to leave home to fight homelessness and end up homeless yourself,” she said.

“But I was in the right place (to get help), I guess.”

The aspiring social worker’s descent into homelessness started two months earlier when her relationship with her partner suddenly broke down.

In an instant, four years of independent living dissolved into a sea of couches as she moved from friend’s place to friend’s place.

“I had no idea it (the break-up) was coming so I had no plans in place to find a new home or to store my belongings, and no money saved,” she said.

“I had no option but to couch-surf and I rotated staying at eight or more people’s houses.”

Bridget thought she found stability living with the friend of a friend, before that fateful text message.

Luckily, she was surrounded by people ready to help.

“The staff at ICYS were wonderful,” she said.

“The first thing they did was help me collect my belongings and move them to a friend’s house near Logan where I could stay for a while.”

With another temporary roof over her head, Bridget’ focus turned to a long-term home.

“Again the team at ICYS were amazing,” she said.

“They helped me look for accommodation, took me to look at houses and rooms and sorted out my bond loan.

“They also helped me gain rental assistance, and with the essentials like food and toiletries.”

The outcome was a private rental back in Ipswich that she maintains on a six month lease.

Bridget said the experience had only strengthened her resolve to help others encountering housing difficulty.

“My goal is to work in the (social services) industry and I have already completed a Diploma of Community Service, a Diploma of Counselling and am enrolled in a Bachelor of Social Work,” she said.

“It’s an understatement to say that this year has been one hell of a challenge.

“But the support I’ve been given has only made me more passionate about working in the sector, while I like to think that the experience will help me better understand my future clients’ circumstances.”



Last updated 03 August 2015    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


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