Theft a cruel blow for Diana

Diana wants her stolen backpack to be returned. Picture: Will Russell   d441840
Diana wants her stolen backpack to be returned. Picture: Will Russell d441840

But that is what confronted the 24-year-old retail worker late one recent evening.

�I was really upset,� she said.

�I don�t have many things.

�I felt like I had been stripped of the few items I did own.�

Diana is one of more than 10,000 people experiencing homelessness in Western Australia.

For the last four months, her sanctuary each night has been a tent set up at the back of a friend�s place in Mundijong.

Despite her circumstances, Diana has managed to hold down a job and continue with her veterinary nurse studies.

But the recent events have put a dent in her push to get her life on track.

Among the items stolen was petty cash she had saved for emergencies and a backpack holding important study notes, a dictionary and veterinary scrubs worth $120.

She said she was desperate to get the bag back.

�I was really protective of my bag,� she said. �It means more to me than it would anyone else.

�I just want them to return it because they don�t need it.

�Without the notes, I�m playing catch-up.�

Anglicare�s south metro regional manager Jennie Gray said stories like Diana�s were not unusual.

�We take on average 100 phone calls per week from people in housing crisis, including people who are homeless, and all of these stories are tough,� she said.

�With a lack of crisis housing and affordable long-term housing, it is very difficult to find solutions for these families.�

Dr Gray said Anglicare took a �strengths and solution focused approach�, reminding people what they had achieved and what their goals were for the future.

�Supporting people as they move forward can be hard for staff though, who are all too aware of the very limited options available for some families,� she said.