Many of us take for granted the security and safety we feel in our own home. For Tai, who spent three and a half years sleeping rough before finally receiving housing support through the 50 Lives 50 Homes program (50L50H) the harsh memories of life on the street are still raw.
“I had to stay awake at night when I was living on the streets or your stuff got stolen or people went through it, or you get your head kicked in when you sleep”.
78% of rough sleepers engaged with the 50L50H program reported they had been attacked or beaten up since becoming homeless; 56% reported they were stood over and forced to do things against their will.
To Tai the biggest difference having his own home made to his life was safety.
“Now I don’t have to worry about my physical safety anymore. I just shut my front door and I’m safe. It’s security, that’s the big deal”.
Tai’s experience is common with people experiencing homelessness and he hopes that sharing his story will provide insight into the vulnerabilities and harsh realities faced by rough sleepers.
As part of the ongoing support provided by 50L50H Tai also receives assistance for other issues that impacted his quality of life and put him at real risk of not being able to retain his residency.
“I was in and out of hospital due to my deteriorating health and the After Hours Support Service team gave me a big hand”.
Tai is one of many clients that have found safety and security with support from the 50 Lives 50 Homes program, and homelessness support from Ruah Community Services.
Watch Tai and others share their stories in this short video.