I know what it's like to be young and homeless. Young people need affordable housing

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My name is Hayley and I’ve been in and out of homelessness since I was 14 years old.   

I know people often wonder about how people become homeless, or how they stay homeless for such a long time. I’m here to tell you a bit about my story.

When you’ve had such fractured relationships since childhood, it’s hard not to allow those relationships to negatively affect you as a person. Coming from really volatile environments, you get used to being treated badly and being manipulated.

I had no idea what a healthy relationship looked like for the first 20 years of my life. I had never had a healthy relationship with anybody, especially myself.

I walked around with a chip on my shoulder, I can admit that. So much shit had happened to me and I was sour. I acted out because there was so much going on inside of me.

Once you get a house and start to seem settled, you’re never settled. When you are able to actually stop being hypervigilant after dealing with a lot of trauma, that’s honestly when you start feeling everything and that’s the point where I think people need the most support. That’s the point where you can crash.

At first being in my own home was overwhelming, because it all hits you that you’re an adult and you have to take responsibility.

The main thing that motivated me to move forwards in my life was thinking, “I’m not going to let what happened to me ruin the rest of my life.” That was my driver. I am not going to be scared because of my past.

I’ve had a lot of support from my social worker and I’ve needed it.

I want people to see people for who they are, not their stereotype. I want you to know who I am now.

Proper housing means getting on with your life. We need more housing that’s affordable for people in my situation. A home gives you hope, stability, a sense of self and the chance to straighten up your life without having to move all the time.

I want our government to commit to more public and community housing in Australia. Please help by signing my petition.

Young people who become homeless really need housing they can afford, but also ongoing support so they can stay housed.



Today: Hayley is counting on you

Hayley Van Summeren needs your help with “Young people who become homeless need public and community housing they can afford. This election let's #votehome.”. Join Hayley and 49,337 supporters today.