Homeless and helpless at 16 - Max, a once happy, football-loving boy, entered adulthood with no dreams, no connection and no hope.
Four years of struggle and despair, without support, and surviving drug and alcohol addiction, physical injury and suicide attempts – this should not have been the pathway for any young man.
After surviving drug and alcohol addiction, physical injury and suicide attempts – Max, now aged 20, found Triple Care Farm. He knows that in spite of all he has gone through, he has been given a lifeline.
School was challenging due to undiagnosed learning difficulties. At 16, he suffered a fractured vertebra in a sporting injury. In addition, he was disconnected from his family, became homeless and was expelled from school. He felt overwhelmed. Suddenly, he was no longer able to play football and was left without the one thing that he felt gave him purpose.
“I didn’t really have much else to do at the time. I didn’t really know too much about myself and I didn’t know much about anything else other than playing footy at that time. So, when that was off the tables, my turn to drugs came into place.”
Within a short span of time, Max’s life had completely lost focus. When the rest of his friends were studying for their final year High School Certificate (HSC), he was couch surfing and then ended up sleeping in the back of his car.
“I wouldn’t be up before midday if I was to get any sleep. I was drinking most days of the week – using different drugs. No exercise. My health was horrible, mental health was horrible. Once every couple of weeks I’d end up in hospital due to an overdose or something to do with mental health. I was sometimes in trouble with the law. Nothing was bright. Everything was off. It was hard to find a job to support myself. Any money I could get my hands on I would drink it.”
We know that addiction is a medical and social problem and sadly, Max’s life got worse. A suicide attempt left him in a coma with a head injury and he spent months in rehabilitation and hospital, learning to walk and talk again.
His own need for survival led to a turning point on his personal pathway to help. He describes it as a pivotal point in his life, where he realised that he had been given a second chance. He took himself to the hospital and went to an adult rehabilitation clinic for two months before he found Triple Care Farm.
Here in a place of support and care, Max felt a genuine glimmer of hope. The program is suited to his needs – helping young people with both mental health and drug and alcohol issues. He was also hoping to find support for the parts of his life he’d fallen behind in, such as living skills. Triple Care Farm felt like a lifeline…his final hope.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, Max has almost completed the 12-week program. He is surrounded by people his own age who are supportive of each other’s journeys. No longer alone, he belongs and has a community of love and support around him. Slowly, his self-esteem is building as he works with staff to pick himself up and feel equipped to return to the community.
Part of his treatment is Music Therapy. Music was once a big part of his life, but Max hadn’t picked up an instrument since school. He has lost a lot of coordination from his head injury, so returning to the drums has been difficult, but it has also brought back many happy memories. You can see his face light up when he plays the drums – determined to get back to his previous ability.
The power of connection and belonging helps young people like Max have the strength to turn their lives around. Your donation ensures that Max and others like him have support - he has a home, a care program and a future – nothing he thought he would have whilst sleeping in the back of his car.
Max wanted to share his story in the hope of helping others like him. Your support will truly take someone from a life of despair and isolation, to a life of hope and connection.