When Matthew connected with Council’s Youth Services in 2016 at just 16 years of age, he had dealt with family trauma, unstable accommodation and faced homelessness.
With support from Council youth workers, Matthew has since turned his life around.
"Things were a bit hard a few years ago, I was being bullied at school, I didn't have a permanent home and I didn't feel like I belonged anywhere,” Matthew said.
Regular visits to Youth Central and the Frankston South Hangout provided Matthew a chance to play video games, make friends and access support services.
“I started going to the holiday programs too, which were really good. I felt like it was a place where I belonged. I was able to socialise in a safe environment, with safe friends."
The youth team helped Matthew navigate life out of home, including building his confidence so he could join employment agencies and look for work.
As Matthew had been unable to clock up any learner driver hours, he was encouraged to sign up to the L2P driver training program.
He was matched with a volunteer mentor who prepared him to sit his driving test last August, which he passed with flying colours.
After getting his licence Matthew also got a job at Bay City Holden.
"This is the first job I have really felt comfortable in. It gets me out of the house and I am now productive with my days. I am learning new things and the extra income means I have some opportunities when it comes to where I live."
He encouraged struggling young people to keep persisting.
"You will find something and there's lots of support out there, you just have to ask for help."
Frankston City Council Mayor Sandra Mayer said she was proud Council’s Youth Services programs were helping young people like Matthew reach their full potential.
“Matthew’s efforts to improve his life are incredibly inspiring and our programs are there to help others aged between 12 and 24 do the same,” Cr Mayer said.
For more information about Faces of Frankston visit, visitfrankston.com/faces-of-frankston. For further details about Council’s Youth Services visit, Frankston.vic.gov.au and search Youth Services.