When you’re couch surfing and have nothing, little things make a big difference.
A toothbrush that hasn’t been used by somebody else. A new can of deodorant. Clean sheets.
“Those things mean the world,’’ says Kym Staples, Senior Social Worker at Centacare’s Outer North Youth Homelessness Service.
“Living without the most basic necessities is an indignity these kids face every day.’’
Kym is putting together bedding kits for young people who access support through the ONYHS.
The packs include a single bed sheet, quilt, quilt cover, pillow and a towel. Kym hopes they will instil a sense of ownership and belonging in young people and improve their self-worth.
“A lot of them don’t even have a bag to carry their things around in,’’ she says.
“If they are sleeping rough, they are either using dirty linen or nothing at all. This way they can throw something down that’s theirs and at least know where it’s been.
“A lot of these kids have had nothing their whole lives, so to give them something new, all of their own, means the world.’’
The kits were made possible by a grant from the John Wallis Foundation, community donations and money raised by Centacare.
Kym has plans for other packs with basic household items, such as a bucket and broom, to help young people who have moved out of home.
The ONYHS provides case management, early intervention, and outreach, post-crisis and wait-list support for young people aged 15-25 years who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, across the Playford, Gawler and Barossa council districts.