It was like I'd lost my best mate

I knew mum was going to court and that she might go to jail. We didn't sit down and talk about it really. She just told me what I had to know; she didn't want to upset me more really. I didn't really know what was going to happen that day… I was fifteen.

That morning, we had sort of an argument, about something stupid, like breakfast. So it was pretty bad when I found out she was … I'd stormed out, said a few bad things and then … when I got home, she wasn't there. She had been sentenced to three years.

We hadn't talked about what would happen to me – it just kinda happened. I went to my dad's, but I couldn't really stick it there, I didn't get along with his girlfriend. So I moved about a bit, from dad's to nan's to friends' houses. I didn't like moving around. I couldn't get settled, and I couldn't study properly at school. I kept going to school though for about a year, then I just stopped.

Everything changed when mum went to jail. It was like having to start a whole new life, and I didn't like it. It was like I'd lost me best mate. I just kept it inside. I couldn't talk to no one, except a mate. I used to talk a lot to him, but, I couldn't get to the point of what I wanted to say.

I didn't like seeing mum in jail – it's not who she is. I avoided going, so I guess it was my choice…

I didn't tell anyone mum was in jail. I didn't want people feeling weird talking to me. I'm a different person to my mum.

Do you need help finding your own space and keeping your life going?

Sean managed a lot of stuff on his own – but there are people who can help. Couch surfing can make things more difficult for young people – like feeling safe, being able to stay at school, and stay in regular contact with your parent.

CentrelinkIf you are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, you should contact your nearest Centrelink office and ask to speak to the social worker. Information about what things Centrelink can do to help you can be found here:

They can also help link you in to other housing and support services.

Quite a few places can help you if you need housing and support. These include Melbourne CityMission, The Salvation Army and Wesley Mission. These links will take you directly to information about services that can help you.

Find out about the Melbourne City Mission youth homelessness servicesThe Salvation ArmyWesley Mission