Each year we help many young people in Sydney's North get their lives back on track.

While each individual has a story that is unique, they all share a background of great personal suffering and countless challenges. They also share the experience and pride of driving their own personal turn-arounds.   

Listen to and read their personal stories as they are invariably the best people to explain how StreetWork helps teens in their journey to turning their lives around.

Jayden's StreetWork Story


Jayden* was referred to StreetWork by the Child & Adolescent Mental Health unit.Struggling with anxiety and panic attacks, he had become very socially isolated. Through weekly mentoring sessions with one of our youth workers, Jayden identified he wanted to overcome his anxiety and start to build his confidence by taking part in different youth activities. Over the last few months, Jayden has attended  different social activities and his confidence is slowly building. He is learning to manage and overcome his anxiety and panic attacks. *Not his real name

Isobella's StreetWork Story


Referred to SreetWork by a local mental health organisation, Isobella* had dropped out of school and was very socially isolated. She also struggled with anxiety. Isabel attended weekly mentoring sessions as part of KickStart with one of our youth workers. She developed a number of personal goals she wanted to work on. She wanted help in overcoming her anxiety and she wanted to start some sort of further education or apprenticeship. Supported by the youth worker, Isobella learnt strategies to manage her anxiety. She also applied for and is currently attending TAFE to study hair dressing.

*Not her real name

Tonga's StreetWork Story



Tonga* was referred to StreetWork by the Family Referral Service. At the age of 15, he was disengaged with school and there were also mental health concerns. He participated in KickStart and had weekly mentoring sessions with one of the youth workers. Over the next few months, StreetWork negotiated his return to school. The youth worker also provided support by connecting Tonga with specialist services where he is learning tools to help with his mental health and well being. He has also joined a number of social outings and is gaining in self esteem and social confidence.

*Not his real name.

Tiani's StreetWork Story



Tiani* was referred to StreetWork by the local Police. She joined the KickStart program and had weekly mentoring sessions with one of our youth workers. During these meetings,  she identified some personal goals she wanted to work on. Tiani wanted to improve her relationship with her mother. She also wanted to get a part time job and she wanted to start playing a team sport. Supported by StreetWork, Tiani has found a part time job. She is also learning conflict resolution skills which is helping to improve her relationships at home and  also helping her in the work place.         *Not her real name


Shaun's StreetWork Story


At 16, Shaun* was referred to StreetWork by the Family Referral Service. Shaun had been suspended from school and was struggling with mental health issues. There was also regular drug and alcohol use. During weekly meetings with our youth worker, he identified a number of personal goals. He wanted to go back to school and get a part time job. Over the last few months supported by our youth worker, Shaun has completed year 10. He has also attended a Transition to Work Program and is now looking for a job. StreetWork has also connected Shaun with other youth services to help him learn tools to manage his mental health issues and to work with him on minimising his drug and alcohol use.

*Not his real name

Jude's StreetWork Story



Jude was referred to StreetWork by his parents. There was ongoing domestic violence at home. Jude was also having issues at school and had decided to leave. As part of KickStart, Jude attended mentoring sessions with one of our youth workers. Together, they identified some personal development goals that Jude wanted to work on. With the youth worker's help, Jude negotiated to go back to school and continue with his education. StreetWork connected Jude with Headspace which has help with the family situation. Supported by our youth worker, Jude has also started a part time job, which has given him some independence.    *Not his real name


Campbell's StreetWork Story


Campbell* was referred to StreetWorks by Chatswood police after committing a number of offences. He attended weekly mentoring sessions as part of the KickStart program. Working with one of our youth workers, Campbell identified a number of personal goals he wanted to work on. He wanted to stay out of trouble and fulfil all of his bail conditions. He also wanted to look for an apprenticeship or full time job. Over the last few months supported by the youth worker, Campbell has turned his life around. He has fulfilled all bail conditions set by the Police. He has also attended a Transition to Work Program provided by Employment Plus. He has now got a full time job.

*Not his real name

Juliet's StreetWork Story



At 17, Juilet* referred herself to StreetWork after a talk at school. She had been in trouble with the Police and was awaiting court proceedings. She had dropped out of school and had been getting in to trouble at home due to anger management issues. During weekly meetings with one of our youth workers, Juliet began to realise that the decisions she had been making were not healthy ones. She set herself some goals to make some life changes. Supported by our youth worker, Juilet fulfilled all of her court obligations. She started to do some volunteer work and really enjoyed it. StreetWork connected her with a specialist organisation who are teaching her tools to help with her anger management. With the support of her youth worker, Juliet  is also looking at enrolling in a course with a focus on helping people. *Not her real name


tai's StreetWork Story

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Referred by the Family Referral Services, Tai* was a socially isolated 15 year old. He was being bullied at school and came from a home where there was ongoing domestic violence. Regular mentoring with one of our youth workers allowed Tai to develop some personal goals for both school and life. Over the last few months, Tai has learned time management strategies and developed a study timetable which has really helped at school. He has had support around the bulling issues and is much happier. Tai has also built regular exercise into his week and has attended a number of workshops to try out different sports.

*Not his real name


Leti's StreetWork Story


Referred to StreetWork by her school, Leti* was suffering anxiety and depression and was absent from school for most of the time. Leti wanted to learn how to make friends at school and learn tools to help manage her anxiety and depression. Over the last few months, supported by one of our youth workers, Leti has formed friendships with a number of girls at school and her attendance has significantly improved. She has also learnt strategies to manage her anxiety and depression.

*Not her real name

Cam's StreetWork Story


At 18, Cam* was referred to StreetWork by the Royal North Shore Hospital. Coming from a broken home and with an alcoholic mother, Cam was struggling at school and wanted to move out of home. During weekly mentoring sessions, the youth worker supported Cam and helped him to re engage with school. He also helped Cam apply for the Youth Allowance which allowed Cam to live independently. Cam has now completed his HSC and is aiming to get a job.

*Not his real name


Jack's StreetWork Story

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Jack* was referred to StreetWork by a child and adolescent mental health unit. He had some mental health issues, was very socially isolated and had low self esteem. Through weekly mentoring sessions with our youth worker, Jack was encouraged to meet young people. He was keen to get his driving licence and to finish school. He also wanted to learn to play a team sport. Over the last year, Jack has passed his driving test, he has also learnt a number of different ball sports. Jack has also re engaged with school and is aiming to pass his HSC.

*Not his real name.

Rose's StreetWork Story

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At 14, Rose* was having family issues and suffering from anxiety. She was also having friendship issues. Over a number of months, Rose had weekly mentoring sessions with our youth worker. She learnt skills and techniques to manage her anxiety and received support with friendship issues. Rose is now much happier at school  and her relationship with her family has improved.

*Not her real name



Paul's StreetWork Story


Referred by FACs at 17, Paul* was suffering mental health issues, he was also disengaged from school and going through a family breakdown. Meeting weekly with our youth worker, Paul developed a number of goals. He wanted to complete year 10, he also wanted help managing his anxiety and developing social skills. Paul has come a long way in the last few months. He is back at school and is aiming to complete his HSC. He is learning strategies to help with his mental health issues and his relationship with his family has also improved.

*Not his real name

Yasir's StreetWork Story


Yasir* had a history of drug use and anti social behaviour. The Police referred him to StreetWork. Yasir developed some personal goals with his youth worker. He wanted to pay off his fines and get a regular job. He also wanted support with mental health issues and he wanted to return to school. StreetWork negotiated his return to school. We also put Yasir in touch with a mental health organisation which has been really successful. He is now working part time. He is also developing as an artist and is hoping to do further  study in the area.

*Not his real name

India's StreetWork Story


Since she was a teenager, India* has had a very unstable home life. She was referred to StreetWork by a case worker. India needed a mentor for ongoing support. She wanted help with overcoming her anxiety and building some self confidence. She wanted to return to school. She has now completed a nursing course. She has also, with the support of her youth worker, joined a number of youth groups and found some great mentors. She has gained in self confidence and her self esteem is growing.

*Not her real name

Ben's StreetWork Story

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Charged by the Police for drug possession, Ben* was referred to StreetWork. He met weekly with a youth worker and identified a number of personal goals. Ben wanted to pay off his fine. The youth worker supported and encouraged Ben throughout the HSC, he is now attending university. The youth worker introduced Ben to specialist services for drug and alcohol counselling

  *Not his real name        

Jamal and Rashid's StreetWork Story


Brothers, Jamal* and Rashid*, were referred to StreetWorks by FaCS. Both boys had totally disengaged from school. The school were concerned the boys were being marginalised. With the support of one of our youth workers, both boys were supported to achieve their own goals. Rashid wanted to get a part time job to help support his mother. Jamal wanted to re engage with school.

*Not their real names

Sam's StreetWorks Story


Sam* was expelled from school for misbehaviour and drug use. The school referred Sam to StreetWorks. Sam had weekly meetings with a youth worker who supported Sam and negotiated with the school for Sam to continue with his studies. Sam has worked really hard to turn himself around and he has graduated from school. Sam is now working with the youth worker and a drug and alcohol centre to minimise his drug use and get fit and healthy.

*Not his real name


Leila's StreetWork Story


Leila* was referred to StreetWorks by KYDS Youth Development Services. She was struggling with mental health issues and she was feeling very lonely. Leila wanted some support so that she could get a job and try and reduce the amount of time she spent on the computer. During weekly meetings with a youth worker, Leila has been able to put a CV together and found a part time job. This has given her more confidence with interacting with people. 

*Not her real name

Brian's StreetWork Story

Brian* was referred to StreetWork by the Child & Mental Health Services. After a history of bullying and changing schools, and with no real father figure, Brian had started to carry a swiss army knife to school for protection. He was trying to complete year 12 at TAFE. Since starting KickStart, Brian has successfully completed year 12 and after various different work experience opportunities he started an Electrical Apprenticeship at the end of 2017. Brian has now graduated from the KickStart program.

*Not his real name.

David's StreetWork Story


David* had a history of violent crime and substance abuse. At 16 he referred himself to StreetWorks while at a StreetWorks Sizzle. David asked for support with the Juvenile Justice system. He also wanted to learn strategies to help him overcome the  constant feeling of anxiety. StreetWork encouraged David to take part in the Pride program and an anger management course. David gave 100% in both of these and was the most improved on both courses. Currently one of our youth workers is helping David to look at apprenticeship opportunities as he wants to leave school and work full time

*Not his real name

Bec's Streetwork Story


In year 10, Bec* heard StreetWork talk at her school. She spoke to the youth workers and asked for help. Due to anger management issues, Bec had been in trouble with the Juvenile Justice Courts. She wanted help with completing her responsibilities to the court and she wanted to learn anger management techniques. With KickStart, Bec met weekly with a youth worker. With their support, over a number of months, Bec completed all the requirements of the court. She  got herself a job. Bec also passed her driving test. All these positive steps have helped Bec  to build her self esteem and confidence

* Not her real name

Amir's StreetWork Story

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As a 17 year old, Amir* got in to trouble with the police and was charged with  possession of drugs. He was referred to StreetWorks by the police. As part of  Kickstart, Amir had weekly mentoring sessions with one of our youth workers. He was keen to pay off his fine and to stay out of trouble. He also wanted to stay at school and get good marks for the HSC. With the support of his youth worker, Amir was able to complete his HSC and gain a place at university. He now has a more positive outlook on life.

                                                                                                     *Not his real name



Jon's StreetWork Story

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Jon* has had a troubled childhood witnessing both domestic violence and abuse on an ongoing basis within the family. Having moved out of home he was referred to StreetWork by a government organisation. His goals were to learn to be independent and to find a part time job, something he could do when he wasn't at school. After continued persistence, Jon was offered two jobs and to celebrate and help prepare himself for his first day at work, Jon is treated to a professional haircut and shave at the Flying Tiger barbershop.  Jon was almost unrecognisable after his haircut and shave. 

* Not his real name


Sarah's StreetWork Story

At 17, Sarah* was not happy with the direction her life was going in. After listening to a StreetWork talk at her school, Sarah contacted us and asked for some assistance to turn her life around. Sarah had been in trouble with the police and was also struggling with alcohol and controlling her anger. With support from KickStart, Sarah fulfilled all of her obligations with the juvenile justice court and she learnt many useful anger management techniques and is using them to good effect. Sarah has got herself a job and is gaining confidence in her ability to make good decisions and build on her strengths.

* Not her real name

Matt's StreetWork Story

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At 14, Matt was having problems with school and getting lots of detentions because of his behaviour. He was also struggling without a male role model in his life and he was referred to StreetWork by Headspace. Through the KickStart Program, Matt has been meeting regularly with a youth worker to discuss challenges and keep on track with the goals he as set. Matt has really improved his performance at school and continues to progress. He is passionate about skateboarding and learning new tricks. To celebrate his progress Matt and his youth worker recently visited the Monster Skate Park in Homebush.

* Not his real name

Ben’s StreetWork Story

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Ben aged 14 was referred to StreetWork by his parents. He was struggling at school and failing to fulfil his study commitments. Ben was also becoming more aggressive and verbally abusive at home towards his other siblings. Working with a youth worker on the KickStart Program, Ben has been working on anger management techniques. He has also been working hard at school and has been handing  all his homework in on time.

* Not his real name


As a graduation reward for two young people (YP) on the KickStart Mentoring Program, the Manly - Youth Services Manager took them to the Blacktown drive-in for the premier of the All Eyez On Me - 2Pac movie, as both were very keen hip-hop fans. 

One of the YP had been referred to StreetWork at 17 by Juvenile Justice as he had a number of assault charges against him. He and his mentor would travel to court in Bidura Children's court for hearings around the charges and the mentor would assist the YP with the Youth Justice Conference outcomes which included the delivering of an apology letter to the victims of the assaults. The YP also needed to continue anger management classes with his psychologist and pay back money towards the medical expenses of his victims. The YP delivered on each of these requirements and concluded his court hearings. His good behaviour period has now ceased meaning he was no longer requires direct support and has now progress to the StreetWork Aftercare program.

The second YP was referred to StreetWork by his school due to extreme issues of anxiety. The YP's primary goal was to finish Year 12 and achieve his HSC.  During the course of his two year engagement with StreetWork , the YP he had many ups and downs and relapses in his truancy and he attended four different schools before settling at the Beach School.  Last year he concluded his goal and is now using his Aftercare meetings to review opportunities to study at Macquarie University.

At the film premier there was live music by Grammy Award winnings Hip-Hop artists, fancy cars (that bounce like the music videos) food and the movie's sound delivered through the StreetWork Tarago stereo. The young people remarked on having an incredible night like which they've never experienced and their mentor remarked on how far they'd both come - to be challenged by anger management problems and anxiety to being so comfortable and focused at a big social gathering.

Joel's streetWork Story

Randle's StreetWork Story

Mandy's StreetWork Story

Alex's StreetWork Story

An early school leaver at 16, Alex found herself hanging around Chatswood with a bad crowd and no job prospects. She came to StreetWork's attention through our Outreach Program.

We quickly determined that Alex was at considerable risk due to difficult parental relationships and risk-taking behaviour.

Through KickStart Mentoring, we provided Alex with regular care, support and encouragement.

Five years later, Alex has turned her life around.

Today Alex has multiple qualifications in business, including managerial and administration certifications.

Alex is now happily married and works as an Executive Assistant for an accountancy firm. 

Ara's StreetWork Story

Ara was 8 when his mother was sentenced to 50 years in prison after attempting to smuggle heroin out of Asia. 

Ara and his brother were left in the care of their father, a tough Armenian who had escaped the Middle East and fled to Australia.

His unsettled home life and a difficult relationship with his Dad caused him to struggle and eventually be expelled from school. Soon after, his father took out an AVO against Ara, leaving him homeless. 

Ara met StreetWork and we helped him find a place to live and to navigate the police and legal systems. 

While on the KickStart program, Ara attended a course to break the cycle of destructive and aggressive behaviour and take control of his life.

Ara gradated from KickStart and went on to complete a TAFE certificate and now enjoys a career in plumbing.

“When you’re on the street, kids just 12 or 13 are using drugs. You’re surrounded by the same kind of people. StreetWork helped me to make goals and to achieve them, and make real changes in my life.” 

Paddy's StreetWork Story