Meet Mohammed

From ‘When there’s no place to call home’: stories of people who have experienced homelessness in Western Australia.

I came to Australia in 2011 after fleeing Afghanistan; it was very hard especially when you’re trying to learn a new culture and a new language. I didn’t have any family or friends here. I was all alone.

I was sent to Tasmania first, but couldn’t get a job. I then moved to South Australia because people said it was easier to get a job there. I couldn’t find one. Someone told me Perth was a good place to get a truck driving job. So, I moved to Perth and staying in a backpackers hostel. I kept on trying to get a job, but I just couldn’t.

Eventually I ran out of money and had to sleep in Kings Park. My friend and I would sleep under the stars on the grass in Kings Park and then during the day we would go to the libraries and try and look for work. We stayed in Kings Park for three weeks and used the barbecues to cook our food at night.

You know, it’s usual for us refugees to be homeless. We don’t know where to go, we don’t have family to support us and we don’t know how to ask for help either.

Mohammed

I had a settlement caseworker and I only saw him once. He didn’t support me much, but told me to go to Centrelink. I went to Centrelink and sorted out my payments. I didn’t even know I could get Centrelink! I asked them for help because I was homeless, and they told me to go back to the caseworker. Then my friend met Alec who was at Uniting Care West.

Alec said he would be able to get my friend a place to stay. But my friend said he would only come if there was room for me too! We both went to Wilf Sargeant House and that helped us so much! I was able to get my truck driver’s licence and work with employment agencies.

Alec and I have stayed in touch over the years, and through places like Multicultural Futures I was able to secure a job and now have the highest truck licence in truck driving. I can drive any truck!