When Hannah and Justin first visited Café One in June they had been sleeping rough for approximately two years. The couple were in desperate need of housing as Hannah was five months pregnant. Café one opened its doors to the couple and over a meal they began to tell their story.

 

Both Justin and Hannah had traumatic childhoods. Neither has a positive relationship with family nor did they have positive role models growing up. Justin, at 23, has spent his entire adult life either on the streets or moving from couch to couch. Hannah, at 17, hasn’t lived at home for three years and has spent a significant part of her teenage years sleeping rough and in fear for her safety.

 

Unsurprisingly, living marginalised lives such as these have resulted in Justin and Hannah having regular interaction with law enforcement. The couple have always found it difficult to engage with and trust the services offered to them, but the pair found safety in Café One and its friendly approach through food.

 

Getting to know Justin and Hannah, the team discovered that the couple weren’t registered with the department of housing. Justin was self-medicating to manage his anxiety levels and Hannah wasn’t engaging with medical services to support her through her pregnancy. Compounding these challenges both had outstanding matters that needed to be dealt with through the legal system.

 

With positive encouragement and support, Justin and Hannah got in touch with the Department of Housing and submitted a housing application. They were supported to apply for housing through a number of community housing providers in an attempt to find a property to meet their needs.

 

Justin sought out and accessed assistance for his anxiety and Hannah was referred to medical support to help her through her pregnancy. With appropriate legal assistance and advocacy, made available through the café, Justin and Hannah dealt with their legal issues without the overwhelming fear of being sent to prison or being separated from each other.

 

 

Justin and Hannah have worked hard to work through the challenges they were facing when they first came to Café One and as a result have been offered a three bedroom home. They have been linked into intensive counselling and long-term community support and most importantly are the proud parents of a healthy, happy little girl.

 

Justin and Hannah’s story shows what can be achieved through the development of therapeutic relationships that encourage trust, respect, honesty and openness. Both know that there are hard yards, but are happy that they now have a plan that will assist them to develop the skills they need to raise a happy healthy child.

 

Café One on Wickham, located in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, is a non-judgemental, relaxed environment enabling people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness to develop relationships and comfortably access community services.

 

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Mission Australia is a non-denominational Christian community service organisation that has been transforming the lives of Australians in need for more than 150 years. Through our community and employment services we assist more than 300,000 Australians by providing a hand up, a way forward and hope for the future.

 

Organisation Details
Sector:
Address: 
256 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
Contact details: 

+61 7 3252 3572

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