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15 April 2021
Brodie (left) with Megan Casey, Manager - Youth Outreach SA, at Ingle Farm Salvos.
While I was in primary school I was diagnosed with depression, and later ADD and ADHD. This affected me a lot. I felt sad all the time when I was young and I didn’t know how to explain it. The diagnoses helped me to make sense of these feelings. However, I started rebelling when I was a teenager, doing things I shouldn’t, like using drugs and alcohol and causing trouble. This strained my relationships with my family. My love for skating and music was important and created a space for me to express myself.
I stopped attending school and this led me down a dark path. Drugs significantly affected my depression and, after things hit a head one night at home, I left. My mental health became so bad that I spent some time in hospital and when I got out, I had no place to go.
A friend’s family took me in for a few weeks. They encouraged me to enter a youth housing program and through this I got into Burlendi (Salvos youth emergency accommodation) in 2015. Burlendi was the start of hope for me as it provided me somewhere safe to stay, with workers who were supporting me to look for other housing options.
While I was at Burlendi, I was invited to be part of Rev (Revolution Church). Rev is a community youth church service held each week. It made a huge impact on me. I formed some great relationships with other young people and the leaders, had fun and wanted to know more about Jesus. I continued to go to Rev over the next few years and then started attending the 5pm church community as well.
The Rev community was there for me when workers couldn’t be – sitting with me at hospital after hours, helping me find a sense of belonging and community, investing in my life, caring about what I cared about, attending my music gigs and walking alongside me on my journey.
Support, conection and creative housing turned Brodie's life around.
Shortly after my stay in Burlendi, I moved into the Supported Housing program. I was really excited to get stable housing but I didn’t have all the practical skills to manage, and really struggled being on my own.
In 2017, the Salvos started up a program called Lead Tenant. I was the first person to be part of this new program where two young people, like myself, move into housing with a lead tenant. My lead tenant was Lisa, who supported me to learn to cook, clean and manage a house. She’s also someone I can chat to if I ever need help or guidance. It’s really good having somebody there to help me with adult life; it’s like having a little family living together. I love the sense of family and belonging. That there are people there that care about me and care if I come home at night or not.
I’m now 20 years old and work at a skate shop, which I love. My passion for making music is stronger than ever. I’m making my own money and saving up to do bigger and better things. I recently got my learner’s permit through the Salvos driving program, which will also help me get my P plates.
I’ve been living in the Lead Tennant house for four years now. My goal is to be able to run a house by myself, move out and be completely independent