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Homeless people share their life stories: Rebecca, Andrew, Elle, Melissa and sk8r rat.

Homeless People - Rebecca's Story

In her own words this is our friend Rebecca's story...

"Two things happened when I turned 12, my Father who used to beat the hell out of us left home and the other thing that happened is I started using drugs... One of my friends said 'Here try this it will make you feel better', and it did.

When I turned 13, my Mum found a new partner who lived at home with us. He raped me regularly and abused my younger sisters as well. I was only 13.

He also use to beat Mum up and it was hell on earth. For about a year I suffered through it but when I was fourteen I couldn't take it anymore, so I said to Mum 'You have to get rid of this guy, either he goes or I go.' Mum chose him and I landed on the streets.

Initially I stayed with friends, and then slept with guys from the neighborhood to keep a roof over my head. Eventually I had to leave the suburbs for the city streets.

Sleeping in abandoned houses and buildings, I lived on the streets with other young people who were like me.

The cuts all up my arm are from slashing up. I slash myself to turn emotional pain into controllable physical pain. It's not usually to kill myself, just to help cope with the pain of the past.

I don't do it much, but if I'm having a shocker week I might just sit there and slash till I reach one hundred cuts.

If the only thing that happens to you in your life is you just keep getting hurt, you end up saying no this isn't going to happen to me, I'm not going to let myself get hurt anymore, I can't handle the reality of life I can't handle any of it why not end it all then I know that I don't have to deal with any of it.

Homeless People Rebecca

The last time I tried to kill myself I only had a syringe to slash up with so I was hacking at myself trying to get myself bleeding properly. Then I sniffed paint until I blacked out.

[left] Dominic, Rebecca & Gerry

I wanted to bleed to death but it didn't work because someone found me lying in the alley and called an ambulance.

You just give up, that's it, it's the end. As soon as you get to that stage where you don't care if you live or die you end up so upset, so depressed, so hurt with everything that you just cant handle even the day in front of you.

In the end it's a matter of well if I get through the day then great, if I don't doesn't matter, no big deal. It's not like anyone's going to miss whether I'm here or not.

To have the confidence to actually do something about where you are is especially hard because you have to build up that confidence.

By the end of the time you come on the streets you've lost all confidence in yourself and you think I cant do it even if I try I'm not going to be able to do it.

[left] Rebecca. [right] Gerry (co-founder of Rebeccas Community) & Rebecca, talking on the street late at night 2001.

Just to know that someone cares is the main thing I guess. Most of the people on the street don't have anyone. We end up with no one when we come out here and you think that no one cares no one worries about you and no ones willing to listen to what goes on in your life… what problems you have.

Then I meet Dominic and Gerry and the volunteers, they are willing to give up their time to come and see you and worry about you personally and take the time out to listen to what you have to say, it's great.

That's what people need is someone to actually be there and to talk with, to listen, to care, someone to trust.

Knowing that there is someone there to care even if they aren't there 24 / 7. When they do come out you really know it's someone who accepts you the way you are and they are ready to listen.

They care about me and they miss me if I don't turn up and that really makes me feel really special, well at least to someone."

by Rebecca

"We named the organisation Rebeccas Community after Rebecca because throughout the time she was on the streets she would put her own needs on hold to be there for others. Our volunteers need to be like Rebecca - by being generous with their time and being there for others. Young people like Rebecca need friendship, the kind of friendship that is offered genuinely by people who are not paid to care. It is one thing to offer people a handout and quite another to say I will be there for you as a friend. This friendship must be a commitment; they need to know that we will continue to be there for them and that our friendship will be a home base they can return to. This is how we rebuild the confidence they need to take positive steps forward."

Mr. Dominic Mapstone B.Soc.Wk
Rebeccas Community
dominic dot mapstone at gmail dot com