Not Every Story is a Success Story

Not Every Story is a Success Story

It’s not as simple as just getting a job.

It was lunchtime, and I walked past Will Smith, from JCP Empowering Youth, talking to two young people in the café.  They had moved from Devonport and wanted a fresh start.  Being in and out of Ashley Detention Centre from 11, our heart just broke for his story. 

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He wanted a change.

So we put an apprenticeship on the table for him to consider. We knew the apprenticeship wage wasn’t going to work because he needed to find accommodation.  There was no way on an apprenticeship salary he was going find equity to housing.  He was already going to encounter obstacles given his juvenile offending history.  So, we offered a salary that we felt provided him with equity in the housing market.

While seeking permanent housing, some of Jude’s volunteers provided him and his girlfriend with temporary housing.  At first, there was a caravan on private property, then there was the caravan park, and then there was a family who took them in.

We knew it would be tough, and simply turning up for regular shifts was going to be a challenge that could take up to 6 – 12 months to implement.   We knew we needed to have realistic goals.

not every story is a success story
not every story is a success story

But even with these accommodation solutions, hope remained elusive.

Only 5 days out of 7 weeks of employment was achieved.

This young lad struggled.  He worked hard when he turned up.  He was a good worker. But, the hidden rules of the middle class are hard to learn when all you’ve ever known is poverty and survival mode.

The instability of housing and the reliance on drugs to ease the anxiety were obstacles to establishing new habits that would, over time, break cycles of poverty.

While it wasn’t a success, it has opened a doorway to understanding the need for housing.  Unless those immediate needs are met, any opportunity or breaking cycles of poverty and injustice remain elusive.

Unfortunately, not every story is a success story. 

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