Finding freedom and a new life

Jake with Carinity Orana Manager Dave McNair.

Jake was just 16 years old when he was homeless, alone and living on a beach.

His life started to turn around when he discovered Carinity Orana, which provides emergency housing and crisis accommodation for homeless young people and those at risk of becoming homeless.

“My life was quite depressing before I came to Orana. Up to this point I had been living with an abusive carer. I was living in a house which I could rarely leave. I felt isolated and alone. I eventually ended up living on the beach at Redcliffe for a week,” Jake says.

“Orana was the first homeless service I had been in contact with. During those first few weeks at Orana I was really nervous, and I kept to myself as I had trust issues. I didn’t feel comfortable as I didn’t know anyone. I did however enjoy the freedom I had.

“Slowly things started to change for me as I felt that I could discover who I actually was. I discovered that I liked bikes. I never had the chance to feel that and now I ride my BMX bike everywhere.”

With the help of Carinity Orana’s youth workers, Jake resumed his schooling at the Salvation Army Youth Outreach Service. He has just completed Year 12 and graduated from high school.

“The school staff helped me to start to open up to other young people and to be less anti-social,” Jake says.

“Despite all that has been going on for me in my personal life I have valued the importance of getting an education. I am now looking to get a job and I hope to get my own place.

“I would not be where I am today without the support of staff at Orana. They have been there for me for the last three years. The future for me is looking good.

“I have a wider support network of friends I can call on than ever before but most importantly I feel like I can finally be myself.”

Each year, Carinity helps thousands of young Queenslanders like Jake who are in need or who are facing disadvantage, by delivering mental, physical, emotional and financial support.

Our mission is to provide high-quality care and services to make a real difference to struggling teenagers.

These services include providing crisis accommodation and emergency housing for homeless youth, assisting young people with a disability, special assistance education for those who struggle in mainstream schooling, and counselling services for at-risk teenagers living with mental illness.

You can help support the expansion of Carinity’s youth services by donating to the 2018 Carinity Christmas Appeal.

Donations can be made online at or by phoning (07) 3550 3737.

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