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16-Year-Old Becomes Homeless After Parents Ask Her to Move Out - Years Later, a Shocking Scene Changes Everything
Former Homeless Teen Bought 4 Houses and Lets Homeless Families Live There for Free
Everyday Heroes

16-Year-Old Becomes Homeless After Parents Ask Her to Move Out - Years Later, a Shocking Scene Changes Everything

"I want to give someone a chance to make their life and the lives of their kids travel down a better path," Jessica Pearce said.

Jessica Pearce knows the hardship of being homeless. Three days shy of her 16th birthday, her parents asked her to move out. Alone and living on the streets, her math teacher came to her rescue, helping her secure a place at a home for teenagers who were working to finish their education.

Years later, it's an experience that's stayed with her. And now? She's taking that experience and making a profound difference in the lives of others experiencing homelessness.

Coming Face-To-Face With Her City’s Homeless

Back in 2016, at the age of 38, Jessica and her partner came face-to-face with Melbourne, Australia's homeless. Literally.

Staying at a hotel over Christmas, the couple was shocked to find the nearby streets "lined with people sleeping on mattresses or on the ground."

"I guess we felt shocked and I suppose a bit guilty — we didn't realise how bad the housing situation in Melbourne was," Jessica told ABC Radio Melbourne.

"I guess it just touched me and I thought that maybe there was something that we could do."

Jessica Pearce

So, the duo spent two nights wandering the streets, handing out $20 and $50 bills and getting to know each person's story. They even went so far as to invite one of the men they met, an estranged father of two, to stay with them, before putting him up at a motel for a month.

But Jessica felt convicted to do more. Having just paid off her mortgage, she was considering buying an investment property in Melbourne. But why just buy one when you could buy four?

Former Homeless Teen Buys Four Houses — Provides Free Accommodation for Families in Need

A successful business owner and mother of four, Jessica, inspired by her own brush with homelessness, decided it was time to pay it forward. Not one to sit around, she bought four houses within two weeks with the intent of providing safe and affordable housing for young people and families in need.

But what started as a solo operation quickly turned into an incredible joint venture.

One of the brokerage firms that helped her find the homes was so inspired by her act of philanthropy that they donated furniture.

Jessica also enlisted the help of both a youth organization and a women's shelter. In an amazing full-circle moment, two of her houses are now being used to help teenagers just like her, who need a place to stay while they finish their education.

The third home is allocated specifically for single mothers and the fourth is being used as transitional housing for people with children who are on a waiting list for long-term accommodation.

This collaborative effort has turned Jessica's vision into a sustainable and impactful program that continues to make a lasting difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

For Jessica, it's all about giving something back.

“I have had good times and difficult times, but most of the time, I’ve been more fortunate than others. So it's now that I feel I am really able to give something back.”

Jessica Pearce

And she hopes that others will be inspired to follow in her footsteps.

How We Can Help the Homeless

The reality is that not everyone has the financial means to buy homes for the homeless. But that doesn't mean we can't make a difference. As the number of people experiencing homelessness continues to skyrocket, there are several ways we can help.

Joining the fight against homelessness can take various forms, and individuals can make a meaningful impact through both direct and indirect means, including donating food, money, and various necessities to shelters and organizations, volunteering, and supporting affordable housing initiatives.

The more people who step up to help those who are struggling in their communities, the closer we are to becoming a society where everyone has a place to call home.

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