Employment opens the door to a new life for Michael
From living on the streets to now having a roof over his head and owning a car, Michael’s life has changed completely since gaining a full-time job through WISE Employment.
Following budget cuts at his previous workplace, Michael was laid off work which resulted in him couch surfing and staying in hostels before running out of options.
‘In between jobs things took a dive,’ says Michael. ‘I couldn’t afford rent. I hit a wall and ended up in a pretty black space. I was couch surfing with friends, but they can only help you out so much. I felt like a burden and ended up on the street long grassing for a couple of months.’
During this period, the team at WISE Employment Casuarina offered Michael ongoing support and assistance. When Michael’s personal items were stolen WISE purchased him a new mobile phone to ensure he could remain in contact and continue to receive assistance in seeking employment.
‘WISE were absolutely amazing, I don’t know where I would have been without them,’ says Michael. ‘They helped me get to where I wanted to be and where I wanted to go.’
Michael is now working as a Stores and Pumps Technician for Southern Cross Darwin; a role he was referred to via WISE Casuarina.
Workshop Manager at Southern Cross Darwin, Hamish, has become somewhat of a mentor for Michael and is impressed with how Michael is going in the role.
‘Michael shows great enthusiasm and willingness to learn,’ says Hamish. ‘He’s a great friend too, we always make time for a coffee and to talk about the footy.’
‘Hamish teaches me a lot, says Michael. ‘I’m 59 this coming Sunday and I’m still learning. I care about what I do, I don’t like to disappoint people or be unproductive.’
For Michael having a job means so much more than just an income and security, his sense of self-worth has also skyrocketed.
‘I’d lost respect for myself. It’s demoralising the way people look at you [when you’re homeless]’, says Michael. ‘Now I’m back on track, I’ve got my life back. I feel independent. I’ve got a dollar in my pocket, most of the time! I’m being constructive and giving back.’