Dave served in the Royal Australian Navy but was medically discharged after 10 years. A series of life hurdles brought on post-traumatic stress disorder and severe bi-polar depression, and in 2006, Dave spent 18 traumatic months living on park benches in Sydney.
“It started me on a pretty steep spiral,” Dave said. “I felt like I lost control of my life. I was in a pretty dark spot with no one to fall back on.”
After community mental health services intervened, Dave eventually returned to family in Brisbane, but his struggle to find a suitable home was far from over. While living in a crowded social housing community, Dave once again spiralled into depression and became a hermit.
But Dave’s luck finally changed when he found out about BHC and moved in to his new home at Bowen Court in 2015.
“It’s a massive turn around for me,” Dave said. “It’s a family here. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy over the last 30 odd years as I am now. When BHC first showed me the apartment I thought, ‘no this is a mistake, I’ve got the wrong address.’ It’s beautiful.”
For Dave, who now walks 10-kilometres a day around New Farm with beloved staffie, Yanni, life is on the up.
“Before you can start to heal a person’s mental health issues, you have to give them a purpose,” Dave said.
“To be able to have a roof over your head is a good start. You wake up in the morning and you feel safe and you feel secure. You feel human and that’s the critical thing.”