Beth experienced homelessness and rough sleeping in Melbourne for 3 years, but now she is home.
Watch her story.
I remember looking up at apartment buildings and looking into the windows of apartments and wondering who lived there and wondering where their life was like, always wanting to be in those apartments rather than on a corner or literally in a gutter sleeping.
Hi, I'm Beth. I'm 25 and I experienced homelessness in Melbourne for three years.
I used to do modeling and pageants but now I'm gonna be a mum, so I'm getting ready for that.
The experience for homelessness happened very quickly and I didn't realize it was happening around me at all.
I experienced sleeping rough for I think nine months consecutively, in the CBD, which is rough. That is very rough.
So I was sleeping in car parks or if I was brave enough alleyways, but there's only so many places in the CBD that you can sort of hide yourself and be safe. I'm such a small girl and had large amounts of luggage, suitcases full of clothes and everything had accumulated over time.
I had private rentals sort of on and off. They were taken away from me and I was evicted due to my friends at the time not behaving as they should have been.
I was living in these private rentals for three months or four months, or maybe even two weeks. And the last one that I had, I had planned to stay in for 12 months and the person I was living with didn't pay their share of the rent, so...evicted.
The week that I got evicted, I found out I was pregnant. So I had a choice to make a big one, and I realized that there was something more important than me coming into this world and I needed to be sort of a world for that thing. And so I called launch housing and I said, "Hey, I've called before. I've tried to get help from you before this time, though. It's not just me that needs help."
I think it's important that Melburnians understand the stigma attached to it is it's wild. It's not necessarily the person, it's the circumstances that you're faced with. So it's just disappointing that homelessness is just sort of placed in one scale when there's so much going on to cause that.
Now I've been living in my apartment for three months, but I have been on this journey for eight. And in that time I have gotten clean. I've sought help from mental health professionals. I'm on a lot of vitamins, pregnancy vitamins. So I'm giving my body sort of a chance to, for the first time ever, just sort of stop, do what it's meant to do, give my head a chance to be what it's mean to be.
Now that I've got stability, I can actually maintain all of that.