Former homeless kids hit road for Youth Homelessness Matters Day

Teiyla Galipo (21) with people from YACWA boarding the Street Connect bus for Youth Homelessness Matters Day Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d492561
Teiyla Galipo (21) with people from YACWA boarding the Street Connect bus for Youth Homelessness Matters Day Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d492561

FOR four years, Teiyla Galipo slept on friends couches, in parks, under bridges, in a shed or in a paddock with her horse.

She was 13 when she first experienced homelessness.

“I didn’t feel comfortable going home because me and my stepdad used to fight a lot… quite aggressively, so I preferred to stay away from everyone,” Teiyla said.

Eight years on, Teiyla is now 21, has a partner, two children aged two and eight months and a home.

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She was among 10 members of the Homeless Youth Advisory Council (HYAC) who have a lived experience of homelessness that boarded Anglicare WA’s Street Connect bus today visiting six services – Foyer Oxford, Youthlink Counselling, Passages Youth Engagement Hub, Indigo Junction, Perth Inner City Youth Service and Drug and Alcohol Youth Service – as part of Youth Homelessness Matters Day.

Teiyla said HYAC, which is part of the Youth Advisory Council of WA, was creating an action plan addressing youth homelessness in WA for the next 10 years by researching and talking to the service providers.

“We’re trying to get better communication between the services and the people to find out what’s going wrong,” she said.

“We’re finding out what they’re addressing and if they’re addressing LGBT and people with a disability.

“I’m hoping we’ll be able to help or prevent homelessness for young people in WA.

“There’s wasn’t much help for me but I’ve seen some changes, especially with police.”

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Teiyla said currently accessed services offered by Anglicare WA and Youth Futures WA.

“It would have helped me more in school if they had done things like driving lessons, life skills that you need to get through like finances because when people are getting their own money they don’t know what to do with it and what the consequences are,” she said.

Teiyla is receiving treatment for anxiety and depression but is determined to create a good life for her two children.

“I’m just trying to be a good mum and not make the mistakes my mum made,” she said.