Home Stretch – Tobias’ story

Tobias: The day that I was basically signed off by child protection as no longer under their care was the first night that I spent on the streets as a homeless person.

When I was homeless it was absolutely terrifying. 

How am I going to eat dinner tonight? I can't cook, like, what am I going to cook on? Am I going to build a fire in the middle of the random oval that I've chosen to make my bed tonight? 

Like, being in that position suddenly especially is just frightening.

Create's a foundation that operate in the out of home care sector. 

They aim to create systematic change as well as a bunch of other stuff including the Youth Expert Advisory Group, which I'm part of which is one of the main parts of Create that worked towards the Homestretch program.

Homestretch is also known as the Make it 21 campaign and it basically means that children and young people in out of home care will receive support instead of till 18 until 21. 

Home stretch extending care until 21 means that children and young people like myself don't end up homeless because it's not all "we've only got two years left to support you."

It's "we support you until you're 21, so how can we do that safe and in a way that suits your needs?"

My hopes for the future are just that I can be happy and I can move past my childhood experiences and one of the ways I do that is by hopefully creating better experiences for children that go through the same things I did.

I just want to live a reasonably content life.  

Hopefully doing stuff like the stuff I do with Create to keep making change in the world.

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