The right support at the right time helped Jamie Van Haren break the cycle of homelessness.
Jamie, who grew up in a coastal town 130 kilometres from Port Macquarie, ended up without a place to call home when he was 18.
Jamie says he sadly became an alcoholic, bounced around between his cousins' places and didn't know what he wanted to do with his life.
Sleeping rough was Jamie's reality when he moved to Port Macquarie a couple of years ago.
A chance encounter in a supermarket led him to Grace Church.
"I had been homeless continually while going to church, while seeing my friends, my pastor, my family and just trying to sort my life out," he said.
Jamie spent five months in a Christian-based rehabilitation centre and then reached out for housing support.
About seven months ago, Jamie moved into rental accommodation thanks to the state government's Together Home program.
"I am so happy and I am so thankful," he said.
"It [secure housing] has made me think more about other people, it has made me think if I can do it, anyone can and it has helped me to realise there is hope.
"What matters is loving the people around you and accepting help, accepting support and coming to terms with any barriers in your way."
Together Home came at just the right time for Jamie.
The program secures homes from the private rental market or existing properties under the management of community housing providers for people experiencing homelessness and delivers intensive tailored support.
Community Housing Ltd is delivering the program across Kempsey, Port Macquarie and the Mid Coast area after receiving $1.6 million from the $36 million statewide project.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said Together Home had housed about 350 people across the state in just a few months, packing years' worth of work into a very short time frame.
"It is the most successful homelessness program in the country, and Jamie, by telling his story, will hopefully help other people realise they can get the help they need too, that they can make decisions in their lives to get the stability and security that everybody deserves."
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams said the housing-first model was using a local approach to break the cycle of disadvantage.
"By giving people a place to call home and the support they need to address complex issues, they can truly change their lives for the better," she said.
Community Housing Ltd managing director Steve Bevington said the program would support some of the community's most vulnerable people.
He welcomed state government funding.
Jamie is embracing the next chapter of life while continuing on the road to recovery.
The 25-year-old acknowledges he didn't always make the best decisions while he was homeless, for which he feels remorseful.
Jamie would like to thank Together Home, Neami National, New Horizons, Grace Church and Community Housing Ltd for their support.
"I've told this story to hopefully bring glory to my God, to share God with people and to inspire people to understand that even without that aspect, they can succeed and there is hope," he said.
Anyone who is at risk of homelessness can contact Link2Home 24/7 on 1800 152 152.