17 April 2024


For 23-year-old artist Keahnee, the choice between pursuing her passions, or affording rent was once her harsh reality – something she believes other young people like her also experience.

For years, Keahnee’s daily dilemma meant she never had the mental space, or opportunity, to consider her future. However, after finding housing through Junction, she has managed to bring her artistic vision to life.

“I was on the verge of homelessness once again. I didn’t have anywhere stable to live and this meant I couldn’t work towards my own goals,” Keahnee said.

“I was either able to work on my art and not have somewhere stable to live, or I could have a home and barely afford the rent, which meant I worked 2 jobs, often 9 days straight.”

At the time, Keahnee was living in a youth accommodation shelter. Through their recommendations, and with support from The Foundry by SYC, she connected with Junction. After settling in to her home last year, she reflected on how stable housing has changed her life’s trajectory.

“I feel like I have a balance of structure and flexibility in my life now, and I can work towards my goals. I finally have balance and I now have a middle ground between where I used to be and where I’m going with Junction which is nice,” she said.

Keahnee believes there are many other young people like herself, who may find themselves in a similar situation.

“As a young person, if we work and pay normal rent, we can’t afford to eat. There are so many independent young people with heaps of skills that just need somewhere to base themselves."

“You have people that maybe can afford the rentals, but most young people just can’t which leaves us in this gap that is really hard to get out of.”

Now free from housing stress, Keahnee has dedicated herself fully to her art – and has seen great success.

“I was part of an art feature for Wardli Youth Centre, I sold a painting last year in the SALA exhibition and I have since worked with the City of Onkaparinga running art workshops. I’m also going to do a sequel of the painting that I sold,” Keahnee said.

Keahnee believes her art is also a great way to share her own story.

“My art tells my story. I love the attention to detail with art, the idea of starting blank and building something up, I see myself in that.”

She hopes to continue bringing joy to those around her with her work.

“I hope to just continue with how I’m going now with my housing and my art – I want to see my art everywhere in my new community and just know it brings people joy.”

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