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Through the Blue Door: Advantaged Thinking in Youth Foyers


Liz Cameron-Smith


Imagine walking through a red door. On the other side of that door, everyone you meet asks you to tell them about the hardest things you’ve ever experienced in life, again and again. They have nothing but the best of intentions and look at you with kind eyes. They call you ‘homeless’, ‘vulnerable’ or a ‘client’. This makes you feel small and unseen. They talk to each other about what you ‘need’ to fix your problems, offering temporary solutions that are better than nothing. But they don’t last long and trap you in a continuous spinning cycle with many different services and case managers.

It’s confusing and difficult to escape from. All you can do is focus on surviving each day: finding a place to sleep, a meal to eat, clothes to wear. From this place, completing your studies or finding a job seem like impossible dreams – even though you know this is what it will take to get your life on track.

Imagine opening a blue door instead. On the other side of this door, the people you meet say one thing: ‘welcome home’. They find out about your passions, your strengths and your talents. They cook meals with you, they play music with you, and their doors are always open, any time of day you want to chat. As you get to know them, you share your aspirations, hopes and dreams. They believe in you. Together you make a deal to work together towards your goals. You are guaranteed a safe and stable place to stay for two years while you build your confidence, make friends, finish your studies and work on the skills you need to thrive in life.

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