Bianca Orsini, 22, from Sydney, was homeless two years ago and now works with the Salvation Army talking to other young people about youth homelessness.
Bianca Orsini, 22, from Sydney, was homeless two years ago and now works with the Salvation Army talking to other young people about youth homelessness. Sharyn Oneill

Homelessness close to her heart

SHE’S still young enough to connect with teenagers, and still has her own experience of being homeless fresh in her mind to advocate the issue.

Bianca Orsini, 22, is the Oasis Eastern Territory Schools liason, going from school to school in Queensland to talk about youth homelessness.

“Of the homeless population, under 25s make up half the homeless population,” she said.

Miss Orsini said she was homeless in Canberra when she was 16 and was hanging around with a bad crowd.

She then ran away to Sydney when she was 17, where she got into a relationship that lasted three-and-a-half years.

“I couldn’t go home to mum. I didn’t know where my dad was,” Miss Orsini said. “I couch surfed with a friend in Sydney. I had a resume but couldn’t get a job.”

She said her friend could no longer house her and had advised her to get help from Oasis Youth Support Network, which the friend had gone through herself.

“I was petrified. I was pretty negative towards the whole thing but once I got there ... my first point of contact is now my boss.”

She said Oasis offered 26 different types of services, so it wasn’t just about getting a bed.

For help, call 4921 2861 and ask for Phil Sutcliffe.



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