Thank you for giving Liam this fresh start
After a traumatic and unstable childhood, Liam first experienced homelessness at just 14. Now in his early 40s, he’s spent over a quarter of his life sleeping rough.
But with the support of Hutt St Centre’s community, Liam has managed to overcome his traumatic past, addiction, mental health issues, and serious health problems to regain control of his life.
For the past two years, he’s maintained a permanent home with his loving partner and their young son. Liam says the best thing about his life now is knowing he can give his son the safe, happy and stable childhood that he never got – breaking the cycle of trauma and intergenerational poverty for good.
As a child growing up in a military family, Liam had to move frequently. When his family eventually settled in housing trust accommodation, Liam's childhood remained unstable, and he had no control over his situation.
By the age of 14, Liam was already struggling with substance dependency and mental health issues, and he experienced homelessness for the first time.
“I would find somewhere comfortable to sleep during the day and then walk around at night. I felt safer doing it that way."
Despite this incredibly rough start, Liam was determined to make a life for himself. He secured a job as a factory machine operator, which offered him a sense of independence and stability.
However, a spinal injury at work left him with a permanent disability and debilitating nerve pain. Sadly, without income and no ability to work, Liam couldn't afford rent and soon lost his home.
“I got stuck for seven months sleeping on the streets, it was always freezing cold, wet and windy. I only had a thin pair of pants and a T-shirt with me.”
Around the time the COVID pandemic hit, Liam found himself in emergency accommodation.
Though he was grateful to have a roof over his head, he was suddenly thrust back into the social circles he’d worked so hard to avoid since getting sober.
That’s when he sought case management support at Hutt St Centre to find permanent housing.
Thanks to the support of our generous donors and fundraisers, Liam was able to access nourishing meals, hot showers, laundry services and vital employment services in a safe environment.
Despite a traumatic past, Liam has managed to overcome his addiction and mental health issues and regained control of his life.
“The positivity, encouragement and guidance I got at Hutt St Centre literally changed my life.”
Now, three years later, Liam has maintained his own home with his loving partner and they even have a child together.
He says the best part of having a home and loving family is knowing his son will never have to go through what he did as a child.
None of this would be possible without supporters who have chosen to walk in the boots of Liam and the 7,000 people experiencing homelessness in South Australia.
By taking part in Walk a Mile in My Boots, you’ll give someone like Liam the chance to rebuild their lives.