Sean’s experience with homelessness spans over 35 years.
Sean moved out of home at the age of just 14 to escape family violence and drug use.
“My parents managed a pub in Sydney, and it wasn’t an ideal environment for a child. It was a toxic environment and I knew I had to get out,” says Sean.
“I managed to get myself a job at the local Pizza Hut to get by and stayed with various friends throughout the years.
“I got by, but I was hanging around Kings Cross and witnessed a lot of things I shouldn’t have at a young age.”
In his early twenties, Sean started an apprenticeship as a chef.
However, mental health issues prevented him from pursuing his dream of becoming a chef.
Over the years, Sean spent time living in various cities and towns in NSW and Queensland.
At times he lived in public housing, other times he stayed with friends.
And when things were really bad, he lived in his car.
Eight years ago, Sean relocated to Tasmania for a fresh start.
He managed to settle down on the North West Coast for a few years, finding stable housing.
However, when a traumatic event seen him turn to drugs to cope, Sean was thrust back into homelessness.
Sean moved from town to town, living in his car.
“It’s tough, but I guess it’s all I’ve know from a young age,” he says.
When he moved to Hobart at the start of 2019, Sean reached out to Uniting for support.
Sean is now living in crisis accommodation as he waits for public housing.
“I have a roof over my head at the moment, so I feel like I’m in a good place,” says Sean.
“I’m still considered homeless but it’s a step in the right direction.”
He accesses food through Uniting’s emergency relief service.
And he is now a regular at NoBucks community meals program, which provides free, hot meals each weekday for people in crisis.
“I really enjoy the social interactions at NoBucks,” he says.
“I can talk to people and have a laugh, which takes my mind off things.”
“The team (at Uniting) have been a great help. I can’t thank them enough.”