Unconscious, bloodied and half dressed, the young woman lay slumped by the rubbish bin. I called the ambulance as I began to administer First Aid. Please live… please live… please live, I breathed as tears ran down my face. It was Amy.

Within minutes the ambulance arrived and the paramedics began to work their magic.

The next day I visited Amy in hospital. Her face was bruised and swollen, both eyes blackened. She had a gash to her abdomen and grazes all over her body. It was a brutal assault.

I helped feed her jelly and ice cream. She liked the green jelly best. We talked. 

Having just lost her secure housing Amy was again homeless. This time last year as COVID-19 spread around the world, those experiencing homelessness in Melbourne suddenly found themselves with a roof over their head. Amy used that time to focus on her health, reconnect with family and to start dreaming about a future. She felt lonely and isolated but at least she had stable accommodation for a few months; she felt grateful. When the Government’s housing initiative came to an end Amy was back on the street. 

“COVID was such a hard time for everyone. Yet I felt safe because for the first time in three years I had somewhere to live. I started to dream again. But now I am back on the street. I feel so scared and alone. When I was lying on the cold ground last night, I opened my eyes, saw the sensor light flashing outside St Kilda Gatehouse, and I knew you would help me.” 

*Amy is not her real name

Your donation this winter can improve the lives of women and girls like Amy, who need to know someone cares.