Alison Sime loves to read.
She’s demolished everything Stephen King has ever written. She loves to draw, cook, and muck around with mates. She’s a fierce mother and believer in love. She’s honest, warm and eloquent.
She has also been homeless since she was 11. Or as she likes to call it; houseless.
In her 39 years, Alison has lived what feels like 39 lives. She’s been kicked down more times than she can count. And she is just one of more than 100,000 Australians living on our streets.
Rochelle started Share the Dignity, which gives free sanitary items to homeless women. Post continues after video.
As a little girl Alison would spend her nights in various Sydney clothing bins.
They’re warm, comfortable and more importantly safe. She’d eat food from the fruit and veggie bins behind Coles. Or she’d steal it from the shop itself, if she had to.
And yet she’d still turn up to school every day, and did so right until Year Nine.
As you can imagine being a child on the streets is hideously dangerous. “I was a girl. A very little girl. I was petrified constantly,” she told Mamamia.
Despite having a rough upbringing, she says one of the best things her mother ever did for her was put her through martial arts lessons while she was still under the family roof.
It helped, for the most part. Alison found herself having to fight off grown men. It worked. Until it didn’t.
Aged 12 she was knocked unconscious and raped, she doesn’t know by how many men. But it was a lot.
Aged 14 she was raped again, this time she remembers how many men – two.
“I woke up in hospital badly damaged and was told I’d never have kids because of what they did to me,” she said.
She did have kids, nine in fact.