Real Life Stories

No journey of homelessness is the same and behind every face there’s a story. Hear the stories of fearless Melburnians who have shared their personal experiences, challenged stigma and forged new futures.  Everyone deserves a safe place to call home.


Providing better support for our queer community

I’m Tara and I’m a team leader at Launch Housing Southbank. I’ve been at Launch Housing for about five years now and working in the community mental health and housing sector for about seven years all together. My work here is a mix of direct client work and supporting, mentoring, and coaching the case managers here as their supervisor.

This Melbourne Pride, I’ve thought a lot about how my identify has informed my approach to providing a better service for LGBTQIA+ people experiencing homelessness.

Jason’s Story

Over the past nine months, Jason has embarked on a journey to reconnect with his family and culture. After many years of estrangement brought on by homelessness, he is eager to partake in his treasured family traditions this Year of the Rabbit.

Anne’s story

In 2021 Anne, moved into a one-bedroom apartment in the city at $290 a week. Seeking treatment for cancer at the time, Anne was unable to work and needed this affordable, well positioned apartment to access care at the hospital.

But just a year later, Anne’s real estate agency advised that her landlord would be increasing her rent to $400 per week, a 38% rise. She simply couldn’t afford the hike but at the same time could not afford to move somewhere else.

Read Anne’s Story in Launch Housing’s 2022 Impact Report.


Color image depicting the rear view of a mid adult woman sitting on the edge of her hotel room bed.

Kalemi’s Story

Launch Housing’s Education Pathways Program supports regular school attendance, participation and wellbeing of children experiencing homelessness and family violence. The program specifically works to mitigate the negative effects of experiences of homelessness by supporting engagement or re-engagement with mainstream education.

Watch Kalemi’s Story within Launch Housing’s Impact Report to learn about the experiences of many of the children we support.

Sam’s Story

Sam’s support through the From Homelessness to a Home (H2H) program meant an interruption to the cycle of homelessness at a relatively early stage. With support from his H2H case manager, Sam has successfully maintained his first legal lease and is creating a life he is proud of.

Read Sam’s Story in Launch Housing’s 2022 Impact Report.

Sakshi’s Story

“I never thought the support would be so extensive, so focused individually on what you can do as a person and what your strengths are and move you forward, like I’ve moved forward in within these last two years,” – Sakshi.

Foyer Student Sakshi speaks about the impact the Foyers have made for her across two years of support.

Watch Sakshi’s Story in Launch Housing’s 2022 Impact Report.

Pablo’s story

“My journey isn’t a journey of perfection, it’s one of resilience. I don’t see myself as a criminal anymore. I don’t see myself as a drug addict anymore.”

Read Pablo’s Story in Launch Housing’s 2022 Impact Report.

Illili’s Story

Illili arrived in Australia from Ethiopia on an orphan visa in 2015 when was she was just 17 years old. Since arriving she faced significant barriers to finding stable accommodation, living for a short period with her sister, then moving between friends’ houses, a stressful experience of uncertainty:

“I wasn’t settled moving between family and friends. They don’t want you to stay long because they’ve got their own life and they don’t know how to support you. They’d ask ‘how long?’ and I wouldn’t know.”

Read Illili’s Story in Launch Housing’s 2022 Impact Report.

Brooke’s story

“My thinking has changed a lot through our experiences. I had everything, I had it all, and my kids had it all, but for safety, family, and our happiness, we had to give it all up. To give it all up meant that we hit rock bottom.”

Destiny’s story

We get taught in school if there is a fire or an emergency to call Triple 0 and there will be an ambulance or fire truck on the way. But no one really knows what to do when they’re in poverty or housing crisis.


Kids don't choose poverty and homelessness.
Kids don't choose poverty and homelessness.

Ivy’s Story

“I ended up sleeping under a pier at the beach. I literally dug a hole and laid my sleeping bag in it. Accessing services on a normal day is so hard… There is no way in hell I would have lasted in this situation with coronavirus.”


Libby’s Story

Until recently, Libby was sleeping rough in Melbourne. Being winter in Melbourne, it was cold. “It was the kind of cold that gets into your bones,” she said. “Even wrapped in a doona.”

Eduard’s Story

Eduard didn’t know his father well before moving into his home. The expectation to get a part-time job and high standards around chores became sources of tension between Eduard and his father, particularly living with a stepmother and stepsisters he had just met.

Gerry’s Story

Despite working hard, selling magazines on the streets of Melbourne for six days a week, there was no way he could afford to privately rent. All Gerry wanted after a long day exposed to the elements was somewhere to put his feet up and listen to some music or watch a film.

Tomasi’s Story

Tomasi is a former member of Launch Housing’s Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG). He first experienced homelessness as a young teenager, and in this revealing story he candidly shares his journey of homelessness, as well as his current situation and future aspirations.

Trent’s Story

Like most 18-year-old students, Trent has great aspirations to create a global empire and own a private island. He has faced and continues to face many hurdles in his marathon to achieving his dreams.

Kelly’s Story

The experience of homelessness was completely unexpected for Kelly, a mother of five. Initially from Queensland, Kelly, her husband, and children moved to Melbourne in 2015 into a small granny-flat, until they were unable to continue paying the rent on a single low income.

Shane’s story

Shane experienced homelessness for almost four years until he found Launch Housing. Being transient for that length of time is traumatic enough. And he lived through it all half blind. As you can imagine, this would make life very difficult.

Volunteering gave a third aspect to my life – Meet Paul

Paul’s perception of homelessness has changed irrevocably through volunteering with Launch Housing. No experience of homelessness is the same, and over time he’s learnt of the complexity and uniqueness of each story by listening to staff and people experiencing homelessness.