When his world was crumbling, it felt like home

Despite going through his fair share of hardship, Max is determined to make the most of his life. When we spoke to Max a few months after the 16-year old’s time at one of Anglicare Victoria’s refuges for young people, he was on his way to a job interview.

Growing up in a difficult family setting, Max was exposed to domestic violence, still too painful to describe. Around age 15, he started staying at friends’ houses; he said it was just easier. He remained courageous and confident in the face of his challenges, but was eventually referred to Anglicare Victoria, and was successfully placed in one of our refuges for young people.

“They made me feel like it was my home. If there was anything I needed, they would help me with it. They helped me with…pretty much everything when it was all going wrong” — Max.

During the difficult times, Max appreciated having some peers around him at the refuge. “I made some friends there.  Most nights we’d all sit at the table and play some board games and enjoy each other’s company. I knew I could ask for help if I needed to. It was pretty much that support around me that got me through. They kept pushing me to keep going, to never give up. It was really helpful.”

He was working in construction during his placement at Anglicare Victoria’s refuge, which was a welcome respite while things were really hard. After a month, he was ready to move on.

Moving into his own place through Community Housing was an adjustment, but he held his head up high. Since then, he has moved in with his grandparents, which he says feels like a step forward. His relationship with his family is improving, and hopes that he can eventually return home, one day.

Anglicare Victoria’s refuge gave Max the support he needed at a critical time in his journey. His story reminds us that the young people we help every day are often willing to take control of their lives’ they just need to be given a second chance.

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