For many of us, Queensland's Fraser Coast region is a picture of paradise.
But with an unemployment rate that is double the national average, Red Cross caseworkers are working in the local community to bring hope and opportunity to young people at risk of homelessness. These vital programs are only possible through your support.
Red Cross caseworker, Bec Kruger sees the darker side of one of Australia's most cherished holiday destinations.
With its blue skies, white sand and endless summer, many teenagers and young adults perceive the Fraser Coast region as a safe haven offering a fresh start in life. But once they relocate, the future doesn't look so bright.
Homeless at just 15 years old, Ally Garner had nothing but the clothes on her back when Red Cross first offered help. Bec Kruger and her team supported Ally to find housing, and to negotiate the many skills required to live independently and stay in school.
"It's not just about bringing them out of homelessness," Bec explains. "My job is to help teenagers be the best people they can be."
Three years after coming into contact with Red Cross, Ally has successfully completed Year 12 and is looking forward to a future involving travel and fulfilling work. Ally calls her Red Cross support workers "my team."
"They are the people I've been missing out on. They're like the family you haven't had," she says.
Red Cross' dedicated team of support workers have been helping vulnerable teenagers and young adults reach their potential for more than 40 years.
Your regular, ongoing support ensures we can continue reaching out to the more than 105,000 people who are homeless in Australia. Of these people, 17,845 are under 12 years old*.
Thank you for enabling our commitment to provide everyday, year-round comfort and support for people experiencing homelessness.
*Australian Bureau of Statistics: Census of Population and Housing: Estimating Homelessness, 2012.
Photo:Australian Red Cross/Renae Droop