RETURNING to her car after a long shift, Diana never expected to see many of her possessions sprawled across the Gateway Shopping Centre car park floor and her all-important backpack missing.
But that is what confronted the 24-year-old retail worker late Wednesday 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 WA.
For the past 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 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 to anyone else.
�I just want them to return it because they don�t need it.
�Without the notes I�m playing catch-up.�
Anglicare south metro regional manager Jennie Gray said stories like Diana�s were not unusual.
�We take on average 100 phone calls a 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.