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Shane’s journey to an open heart

Years living on the street has left Shane guarded and sceptical of people.

“I was on the streets with a drug addiction and I had put myself and other people at risk which I shouldn’t have. I was in a real dark place where I had given up on myself”.

Shane received some homelessness support before his support worker connected him to 50 Lives 50 Homes program (50L50H). 50 Lives 50 Homes was born out of a frustration with the revolving door of those experiencing chronic homelessness and wanting a solution that would successfully house people, and keep them housed.

The collaborative impact program provided Western Australia’s most vulnerable rough sleepers with safe and permanent accommodations and then supported them with wrap around support to help them retain their residencies. Its legacy continues today as the Zero Project.

For Shane, the empathy, kindness, and respect he experienced from the team made a big difference.

“They don’t give up on you. They don’t abandon you when you need it and they step up in times of need.

“When I was on the streets, I had given up on myself, and armed myself so I didn’t get hurt again. The support team helped me take the armour off and show the real me. I discovered a softer side to myself I didn’t know I had.”

These days Shane still receives regular visits from Ruah’s support teams. They check on his mental well-being, happiness and any support he might need. “Without it, I don’t know if I could make it. They don’t judge you,” he says with gratitude.

Shane has also had support relearning essential life skills.

“They’ve helped me with my confidence and just basic organisational skills. They’ve taught me responsibility and how to manage my bills and other household management.”

Having a safe place to call home has had a life-changing impact on Shane.

“With my own home, I gained stability, security and most importantly a peace of mind. After a long day, I look forward to going back to my home and relaxing in a safe space.

“Most of my life, I’ve believed that I didn’t deserve good things. With this support, I began to have more faith in myself. I’m not a bad person and I’ll make the most of this opportunity.”

Shane 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. You can read other stories here.

Watch Shane and others share their stories in this short video.