Cookie, as he is affectionately known and chooses to identify himself, lived on the streets of Brisbane for four years, having moved to the Sunshine State from Canberra in the hope of establishing a new life.
Cookie quickly became a readily identifiable character amidst the community of organisations providing food van, clothing and support services due to his distinct practice of always dressing in suits, acquired from charity services and outlets.
Cookie passionately believes that experiencing homelessness should not be the only thing that defines someone.
“Just because you’re homeless, doesn’t mean you need to look it,” Cookie said.
Cookie was sleeping in Anzac Square when he started to work with the Micah Projects Street to Home team. His literacy levels and his lack of basic forms of ID such as a birth certificate had proven to be a major barrier to securing housing, but these were challenges the Street to Home team could help him with.
“I can’t praise them enough,” Cookie said.
“No matter what the circumstances are they come to you with zero judgement. The Street to Home team are wonderful and the nurses they work with are A1. If something is wrong they are right on top of it,” he said.
Within months of the Micah team helping me to submit housing applications I had secured housing. They even picked me up and brought me to my new home, which they had fully furnished with everything from a new bed and whitegoods to a mop and bucket.
“They even paid the rent for the first 2 weeks and three days to help get me started. That’s something you don’t forget.”
Cookie says his life since receiving help from Micah Projects has been completely transformed.
“Life is heaven.”
“I have a key for my own place. A place I can truly call mine. If it rains I don’t get wet. I can come and go whenever I want. And when I come home everything is still here. I absolutely love this place,” Cookie said.
Despite it being more than six months since Cookie first moved into his new home, the joy of having his own safe, secure place is still in abundance.
“I love it every time I come home. I love the bed, I even love the lamp.”
“I’d still be on the street, cold, wet and miserable if it wasn’t for Micah Projects. Now I try to find my own small ways to give back by telling people I know who are homeless or couch surfing how Micah Projects can help them.
“Why not try to give back if you can.”