August 03, 2020
Dana, now, is looking to the future.
Junction House was a turning point in Dana’s life.
Almost four years since living there, she reflects on how the house, the service and the people have helped shape her life for the better.
“I learnt a lot of things there about how to look after myself,” she explains. “But most of all I learnt who I am.”
Dana’s parents separated when she was a child and re-partnered. This resulted in many challenges for her including moving between houses.
“It wasn’t good for me in either of those new environments,” she said. “I tried living at my auntie’s house but it wasn’t possible for me to stay there.
“I had heard about Junction House and I was so lucky to get in there. I literally had no-where else to go.”
“When I first got there it was so different – living with strangers. I got a taste of independence and then ended up going out on my own and I got off track.”
Dana returned to Junction House soon after – with a different mindset.
“I came back and just did it differently,” she said. “I followed the rules, I went back to school. I made real connections with the staff.
“I realised you can’t just think that because you don’t have parents on your back so you can do whatever you want, which is what happened to me the first time.
“The second time I went in there (to Junction House) I get my priorities right otherwise I knew I would end up on the street.
“That’s when I realised how capable I really was. I could live independently and do it well. I could be the best person I want to be as long as I put my mind to it.”
The second time around, Dana stayed at Junction House for several months before settling in private rental.
While her life hasn’t been a bed of roses since then, she said the resilience and strength she gained through Junction’s support has enabled her to keep going.
“I fell pregnant and have had my son which is great but the relationship I was in broke down as a result of domestic violence so there have been ups and downs.
“But having Chase has really helped me too because it’s given me even more purpose.”
This year, Dana has begun studies toward an enrolled nursing qualification through Open Colleges School of Health. Her long term goal is to be a neo-natal nurse – and to continue being a devoted mum to Chase.
“I really want to work with children,” she said. “I know how important a good start to life is.”