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Salvos open door to life for Brodie

Salvos open door to life for Brodie

Salvos open door to life for Brodie

Brodie says his time at Burlendi Youth Housing was ‘the start of hope for me …’

By Brodie

While I was in primary school, I was diagnosed with depression and later Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This affected me a lot. I felt sad all the time when I was young and I didn’t know how to explain it.

The diagnoses helped me to make sense of these feelings. However, I started rebelling when I was a teenager, doing things I shouldn’t like using drugs and alcohol and causing trouble. This put a strain on relationships with my family. My love for skating and music was important and created a space for me to express myself.

I stopped attending school and this led me down a dark path. Drugs significantly affected my depression and, after things came to a head one night at home, I left. My mental health became so bad I spent some time in hospital and when I got out, I had no place to go.

A friend’s family took me in for a few weeks. They encouraged me to enter a youth housing program and, through this, I got into Burlendi (the Salvos youth emergency accommodation centre at Ingle Farm Corps in South Australia). This was in 2015, and Burlendi was the start of hope for me as it provided me somewhere safe to stay with workers who were supporting me to look for other housing options.

Brodie with Megan Casey, Manager of Youth Outreach at Ingle Farm Corps.

While I was at Burlendi, I was invited to be part of Rev (Revolution Church). Rev is a community youth church service held each week. It made a huge impact on me. I formed some great relationships with other young people and the leaders, had fun and wanted to know more about Jesus. I continued to go to Rev over the next few years and then started attending the 5pm church community as well. 

The Rev community was there for me when workers couldn’t be – sitting with me at hospital after hours, helping me find a sense of belonging and community, investing in my life, caring about what I cared about, attending my music gigs and walking alongside me on my journey.

Shortly after my stay in Burlendi, I moved into the Supported Housing program. I was really excited to get stable housing, but I didn’t have all the practical skills yet to manage, and really struggled to be on my own.

In 2017, the Salvos started a program called Lead Tenant. I was the first person to be part of this new program where two young people, like myself, move into housing with a lead tenant. My lead tenant was Lisa, who supported me to learn to cook, clean and manage a house. She’s also someone I can chat to if I ever need help or guidance. It’s really good having somebody there to help me with adult life. It’s like having a little family living together.

I’m now 20 and work at a skate shop, which I love. My passion for making music is stronger than ever. I’m making my own money and saving up to do bigger and better things. I recently got my learner’s permit through the Salvos driving program, which will also help me get my Ps.

I’ve been living in the Lead Tennant house for four years now. My goal is to be able to run a house by myself, move out and be completely independent.

This article first appeared in Salvos Magazine

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