Seek help or kill myself: One man’s struggle with homelessness

AFTER four years living on the streets, William Reeves faced a grim choice.

“It was either seek help, or kill myself at that stage,” he said.

“I was just that down and out.”


In 2010 Bill’s partner died and his life was turned upside down.

“[I] hit the alcohol pretty hard,” he said.

Bill decided it would just be easier to just live on the streets.

On the streets of the Gold Coast

Bill moved from the town of Texas, just 100 kilometres west of Stanthorpe, to the Gold Coast.

He started alcohol rehabilitation, but it didn’t last.

“Got kicked out of rehab so I ended up on the street in Nerang,” he said.

The dangers of living on the streets were greater than just the daily struggle to keep warm and find food.

“You had to worry about who was going to turn up there while you were asleep,” Bill said.

“So sleeping wasn’t much of an option, you had one eye open at all times.”

Homeless, bunking down under a bridge, things were at their bleakest.

“I had thoughts of me [sic] partner passing away,” Bill said.

On the other hand, he thought about his family still living back in the country.

“What I’m going to do to them if I did do something stupid,” he recalled thinking at the time.

Help is on hand

Bill says taking the first step to seek help wasn’t hard; the hard part was knowing where to go.

“There are organisations here that’ll give you feed and that,” he said.

“But I never knew that there was organisations that’d actually help you, put you up in a refuge and help you get into accommodation in the long run.”

The Gold Coast Homeless Outreach Support Team put him in touch with the Uniting Church’s Blair Athol Accommodation and Support Programme.

Bill is now helping people who are homeless take steps towards turning their lives around too.

This week he’s volunteering at the 2014 Homeless Connect event, talking to others about how they can find a home.

“It may not happen overnight but they will try their darnedest to find you something in the long run,” he said.

“It just takes a little bit of time and you’ve just got to be willing to take each step at a time.”

If you are homeless or at risk and need help, the City of Gold Coast has a list of contacts who can help

[signoff icon=”icon-info-circled”]Article originally published on ABC News[/signoff]