By the time she was 13, Allie* was living on the street. She had no money and no food, and was sneaking into caravan parks to have a shower.
"Not having a bedroom and trying to get a wash were the most difficult. I may have been homeless, but I was always a very clean kid," she said.
Then, she met someone who brought her to yourtown.
“For the first time in ages I felt safe. I had my own room, with a bathroom. I slept in a proper bed and watched TV. It doesn’t sound a lot, but it was really something," she said.
After spending a weekend with yourtown, Allie was offered work experience in the kitchen at our centre. In her co-worker, Lily, she found someone who cared.
"Lily had so much time for me; she started talking to me about nutrition and stuff. I felt like maybe I was worth a second look as a person. I’d never felt like that before," she said.
Allie decided to learn a trade while working part-time with us, but despite everything she’d achieved, she couldn’t escape the nagging thought that there was something missing in her life.
She realised that she had a lot to offer to young people who faced the same challenges as she had.
Allie completed her Business Traineeship and a Certificate IV in Youth Work, and is now a Youth Worker with yourtown.
She helps students stay in school and then get into further education or work.
"I'm lucky because I’m able to relate to not just one thing with a client but nearly every single thing that anyone's ever brought up. I've usually experienced something very similar," she said.
Allie grew up to be an inspirational young woman at the heart of an organisation that changes the lives of thousands of children and young people every year.