'Young fellas coming out of the clubs would bash us up'
ELVIN Darkan likes his home-cooked steak well done with a side of mashed potato, roast pumpkin and a good rich gravy.
Having a friend over for dinner to his north Rockhampton unit is a far cry from the years he lived rough on the streets of Rockhampton, sleeping on the river bank and in car parks.
Mr Darkan enrolled in a four-module certificate course in tenancy rights and responsibilities to ensure he maintains a good relationship with his real estate agent.
The two-day course is a Anglicare initiative to help people who have limited tenancy references and resources.
Mr Darkan moved from Woorabinda in 1987 where he worked as a stockman building fences and working with horses and cattle.
Now he's got his own, safe place to stay, he's actively looking for pastoral work again, with his eye on a job out near Duaringa.
During the years he spent sleeping rough, Mr Darkan said the homeless people kept an eye out for each other and shared what little they had.
"The police would give us a move on so we'd just move somewhere else," he said.
"It was the young fellas coming out of the clubs, cheeky drunk kids, would bash us up."
It was after he grew sick of being hung over, and put himself into rehab with the help of Rockhampton MPIP, which treats patients with long-term addiction, that he got himself clean.
Then Mr Darkan got a unit with the help of Gumbi Gumbi, another rehabilitation facility.
"Now I've got my own place, I do a lot of sweeping and mopping, cooking and cleaning," he said
"Friends can come over for a feed but if they get too noisy, I'll have a growl at them."