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Providing a home and hope for Geraldton's vulnerable youth

It was more than two years ago that Warren found himself homeless due to family breakdown and unable to afford rent. It was during this time that Warren learnt about St John of God Horizon House in Geraldton and moved into the program’s shared accommodation.

2 October 2019 

Warren says he was told about Horizon House from one of his friends' mums.Warren Gilchrist

"She told me about it when I was homeless at the time so I reached out,” Warren said.

"It didn’t take long for the people in the house to make me feel welcome and comfortable.

“At first I felt quite nervous, but as soon as I met everyone, I felt comfortable. It didn’t take long for me to feel at home.”

The 17-year-old is currently finishing work experience and is working towards a career in drilling. 

Horizon House also provides a life skills program that teaches residents essential skills such as cooking, cleaning and personal budgeting that they will require in order to live independently. The skills learned build the confidence and capabilities of young people, allowing them to become more connected to the community.

“I have learnt to budget my money and to prioritise more important things like paying bills,” Warren said.

“I have also learnt to live in a house with other people and all the responsibilities that come with that including cleaning.”

He credits Horizon House staff members with helping him obtain work experience and teaching him to make better choices.

“I’ve learned to give up bad habits such as drinking and smoking, and doing silly things out of home,” he said.

Stable accommodation and support have helped Warren overcome adversity and learn the life skills he needs to become independent. He also now feels he has a safe place to come home to.

“In the next 12 months, I’m hoping to have a full-time job and a car, and hopefully have some savings as well for a holiday,” Warren said.

“I’m really grateful for all the help I’ve received along the way and I believe that the service definitely helps if you are dedicated to helping yourself as well.”

Horizon House provides long-term accommodation and support to vulnerable young people aged 16 to 22 years who are currently experiencing, or are at risk of homelessness, while they access education, training and employment opportunities.

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