I was homeless at 15. Youth Allowance meant that I didn’t starve to death, but it did mean that on top of the challenge of finishing high school while essentially couch
surfing and moving 11 times in my senior years, I was hungry. I didn’t get any help to manage the allowance I received and I would often run out of food well before my
next payment and drink water to try and fill up enough just to get to sleep. It also meant that I entered adulthood with a terrible credit history, as the allowance I had
didn’t stretch to cover electricity, rent and other bills. I spent hours each month in distressing phone calls begging for extensions from power companies etc. It just didn’t
stretch that far. It was time I could have been studying like my peers and doing better at school and university. *Name has been changed. Photo representative only, from Bruce Dixon on Unsplash.