If you haven't had a chance to hear how Ruth has been impacted by the work of Fusion, here is her story:
"Home was never stable… We never had any money...Most days I’d only have one meal a day. We’d go weeks without power or water and I only ever had the summer school uniform.
My upbringing was very isolating, I just kept to myself.
I remember in primary school I would sleep with a baseball bat under my pillow.Mum had met a guy. He was a heavy user and I was so scared that he would hurt me. He assaulted mum a couple of times and smashed all the furniture. I tried to convince her to leave him, but I was only 11 so I didn’t have much power. Instead she drove me to a Macca’s and left me there without a word. Dad came and got me. I didn’t see her for a year and a half.
I missed a lot of primary school; school wasn’t really a priority for Mum or Dad. When I did make it to school I would always feel so embarrassed because I would never have anything for lunch or the kinds of stuff the other kids had.
But school was important to me. Because I didn’t have anything at home there wasn’t anything for me to do besides school work. In the school holidays I would just stay in my room. I didn’t have money to go places or get anything. I would be alone, in my room, with school work; it was the only outlet I had.
Starting high school was difficult. I struggled to connect with friends. It was hard to get to know them and their families. I was jealous. I pushed a lot of friends away.
It started to become hard to engage at school. I was always hungry, I was always angry. Mum came back into my life around year 7 and it was too much. She overdosed at one point. [When she got better] Dad moved away to Gippsland and I needed to live with her again.
Sometimes she would refuse to take her meds and would have these wild mood changes. She would lie. She said I told her my friends were crack dealers and she found a pipe in my room. That never happened. Every time I would come home from school she would search my bag and ask what I was doing.”
It wasn’t until the beginning of year 10 that Ruth reached out for support.
“I didn’t feel safe anymore. I never knew what to expect at home. Whether it be Mum’s mood swings or how my brother would respond. [One night] he shoved me to the ground and just kept hitting me. Mum did nothing.
I couldn’t stay there. All I could grab was a small bag of clothes. I remember just running and when I stopped, I just sat down and cried. I cried that whole night.
I didn’t know where I would go. I didn’t know how I would stay in school.
I heard about Fusion, and it was really my only option. Without Fusion, I honestly don’t know where I would of ended up; If I would be in a share house with addicts, on the streets, couch surfing. I don’t know if i’d even be at school anymore.
Fusion has helped me set up my life!”
P.s You can change the lives of young people like Ruth!
By providing housing and support this Winter, you can help them stop, heal and uncover who they were always meant to be.
*name changed to protect the identity of the young person.
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