Life was good for Jason. He loved his steady job working as a tyre fitter. He had recently moved cities to be closer to his siblings. He’d met someone special, built a relationship and they had moved in together.
But when his relationship broke down, things quickly fell apart and Jason found himself living on the streets. That’s where he was the victim of an horrendous, unprovoked attack.
Jason was in a coma for six months and sustained a permanent brain injury, which affected his problem solving ability and memory and left him with ongoing mental health issues.
He left hospital with nowhere to go. Nowhere safe. He was lost, confused and once again, alone. So Jason returned to the streets that had become his home – a return to danger.
“Everyone sleeps with ‘one eye open’.”
This is how Jason explains night time on the streets.
“Even when you are overcome by the desperate need to sleep, it’s just too risky. You never really sleep. You just exist. That’s where things went wrong for me. I made the mistake of falling asleep.”
This fear is relentless. Unprotected and vulnerable, they are constantly looking over their shoulder, because the threat of violence is never far away. Every single person living on the street tonight is in danger of a brutal and violent attack.
Did you know 48% of homeless people, at one time when sleeping out in a 12 month period, experienced physical violence?(1)
People living on the street are being threatened, abused, kicked – with 1 in 10 having been urinated on. (2)
Finally, a year after he left hospital, Jason discovered Hutt St Centre.
“Someone told me I could get a warm meal at Hutt St. I didn’t know how important that simple meal was going to be,” said Jason.
“That random and violent attack changed my life completely. I lived every day in fear. I barely knew myself anymore. There was no way out and no place I felt safe.
“When I found Hutt St, I found a way out. Someone to talk to who could help me work out how to get my life back on track.”
Hutt St Centre helped Jason rebuild his life, starting with three simple things, a warm meal, a hot shower and compassion - which led to a chain of events Jason could never have imagined.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, we were able to move Jason into temporary accommodation. He began to rebuild his life and improved his health and wellbeing. And most wonderful of all, he was able to contact and reconnect with his brother-in-law – the first step back to his family.
If Jason had not come along to Hutt St that morning for a warm meal, he would never have turned his life around. He could be still on the streets, struggling to survive. Or worse – he could have lost his life to violence.
Life on the streets is cold, lonely and soul destroying. But it also means terror in the darkness.
Thank you for your support.
* At Hutt St Centre we respect everyone who comes to us for help - and many who are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names and images have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.