Young people are some of the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness in Victoria.
Every night, as many as 6,000 young people experience homelessness.
My parents split up when I was three. I was back and forth till the age of 12, between my parents. I'd get hit at home a lot – the belt, anything really. Then my Nan and Pop saw I was getting hit too much, they sent me to boarding school, year seven.
I moved into my dad's for the holidays and my uncle ended up dying after a car accident. I’d just turned 13. That's when it all went downhill. I was living with my dad at the time, but my stepmum was just too nasty. She’d say things out of spite to get me in trouble by my dad. It worked.
I don't think he was expecting me to go but I remember, I packed my bags and I put them into my auntie's car.
I felt like I had all this hate and all this anger but I felt free from them. I remember we tried to receive government funding to get help because I was sleeping on the floor in my auntie's shed and she tried to receive funding because there was barely any food. They just automatically put me into a group home.
I've been in and out since 12. I've never really had a home but I have a lot of family so I was staying everywhere. I was walking on eggshells constantly. I just felt like a burden. I never had a home to call ‘home’.
If it wasn't for MCM, I wouldn't be where I am today. I wouldn't have a house. I don't know where I'd be, to be honest.
Ana is passionate about using her own experiences to give back to the community and help others facing difficult circumstances. With a deep understanding of how others might be feeling and thinking, she hopes to provide the kind of support she needed when she was younger. Ana has recently been accepted for a traineeship in youth services.
Ana's name has been changed to protect her identity.