BACK ON TRACK: 20-year-old Jakob overcame homelessness and is now looking towards the future.
BACK ON TRACK: 20-year-old Jakob overcame homelessness and is now looking towards the future. Caitlin Zerafa

A place to call home

THE story of this 20-year-old man is one of inspiration after turning his life around and getting back on his feet.

Jakob may be young but he knows first-hand what it is to be homeless with barely more than the clothes on his back.

"It has made me who I am today and made me a better person,” he said.

After several years without permanent housing, Jakob is now settled thanks to the help of St Vincent de Paul.

"Just over a year ago I was low on food and on money.”

"They (Vinnies) are there to help and now they are helping me look for work,” Jakob said.

"They are a bunch of friends.”

"If I didn't have that help I would be on the phone to mum asking for $30 for food because I'm hungry.”

Jakob was born in Ipswich and at age eight decided he wanted to live with his father in Noosa.

After four years Jakob moved to Rockhampton with his aunty before couch surfing became his reality.

"I was in year nine and I remember going to school one day in the same clothes I had worn the day before and I said to my teacher 'I'm homeless' and I was in tears,” Jakob said.

"All I had was the clothes on my back and a book in my bag.”

At 17 Jakob returned to live with his father, who at the time was at John's Landing.

"It wasn't a very good place,” he said.

SVDP volunteer Maureen Farro met Jakob at John's Landing and said it is fantastic how he has turned his life around.

"Now he has used his own initiative to find his own place,” she said.

The keen Broncos supporter and mustang enthusiast has found stable accommodation in Cooroy where he does his own cooking and recently started attending Noosa Flexible Learning Centre. He also regularly keeps in touch with his family.

"I am meeting people and I love the basketball court and the gym,” he said.

Jakob is passionate about fitness, the environment and animals and hopes one day to be part of the Navy Reserves.

"By telling my story maybe I can help others,” Jakob said.

"There is always a solution to the problem, if you want help there is always help out there.”

"My brother once told me three words: to survive, overcome and adapt.”


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