I grew up in a small country town in the Darling Downs (NSW) and moved around a bit, but mainly ended up in Brisbane with my dad. My parents divorced when I was about 10. Now I’m a full-time mum looking for work.
There have been times when I have been homeless. That was always a struggle; it was definitely difficult to adapt to that.
I heard about Streetlevel when I first went into (Salvation Army) crisis accommodation, but I didn’t manage to get along to it at that time. Then, two years ago when I was homeless again, I went to Streetlevel and the atmosphere was absolutely wonderful. When you walk in, there’s no judgement about your cultural background, what your religion is, or anything like that. It felt like a second family.
It’s just a place where you can come and feel safe, get a free meal and find the support and services you need. It’s a really nice environment — and to be able to come and have cup of coffee, relax and just vent about anything is so good.
I felt like I wanted to do something to give back to the community, so I started volunteering at Streetlevel. I have made so many friends and ‘family members’ that I just love coming here.
Being raised a Christian, I do believe in God. To think that God is looking down on us and helping us through our life, that there is always hope, and to know that life is going to be okay — that’s faith. I think of that every time things take a turn for the worse.
Somehow I always land on my feet, and I thank God for that every day.
Watch Laura tell her story at The Salvation Army’s Others magazine website at others.org.au in the Everyday Salvos section.