LIKE any new mum, Kristina Crossman just wanted what is best for her child.
But her journey to become a mother wasn’t always smooth sailing, hindered by drug addiction and homelessness.
“I lived in a place full of drugs and I was doing things I shouldn’t have been doing and proceeded to fall pregnant,” she said.
“I was so worried my son wouldn’t have anything or he would be taken off me.”
These hardships allowed Kristina to connect with United Synergies, engaging with a specialist homelessness program which the talented artist said changed her life for the better.
Now more young people on the Coast have the opportunity to engage with the program, with a new crisis accommodation opening in Golden Beach.
Kristina hopes more accommodation like this will continue opening doors across the region.
“Hopefully it will in some way help other young people going through a tough time and experiencing a very real possibility of homelessness, which is such a stressful and frightening situation for anyone to go through,” she said.
Statistics from United Synergies suggest on any given night one in 200 people will not sleep safe and warm in their own home.
Specialist Homelessness Program service lead Colleen Speedy said the Golden Beach Crisis Accommodation is of vital importance to the community.
“We see first-hand from the work we do that youth homelessness is a big problem on the Sunshine Coast and there is not enough crisis, or affordable accommodation options, available to help these young people,” she said.
“We are pleased to be able to now offer crisis accommodation in Golden Beach and give young people the support they need to transition through what can hopefully be a temporary, rather than longer term situation of homelessness.”
Ms Speedy said she also hoped making the community aware of this accommodation would reduce the stigma surrounding homelessness.
“There is also a stigma and stereotype attached to people who are experiencing homelessness, especially young people, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said.
“It’s really important that we advocate for people in this situation, and help educate the wider community and break down the stigma surrounding homelessness.”
For more information about United Synergies and their programs, visit www.unitedsynergies.com.au.
Or if you require urgent assistance, contact Lifeline on 131 114.
This post was originally published by the Sunshine Coast Daily.