As he speaks he tries to come to terms with the changes in his life.

Panapa, 61, came from New Zealand 23 years ago, looking for new opportunities.

Last year he had to stop working due to serious health issues.

He used to have a job and never thought he would struggle to pay his essential costs of living.

He was referred to YFS by Queensland Housing in September because he fell behind on his rent.

“I was very desperate. When I first walked into YFS I was dragging my feet. I couldn’t afford my rent and later on my landlord gave me a week to vacate the property.”

YFS provided Panapa some emergency relief and helped him find a new place to live.

“I fell into the Very High Need criteria. Once the bond was approved, YFS paid half and I paid the other half plus an extra two weeks rent. I moved in like a month ago.”

Panapa has four children and eight grandchildren but he enjoys living on his own. Sometimes, he says he feels lonely, but it doesn’t last.

He worked closely with Kerry from YFS’ Money Smart program.

“Panapa came to YFS very motivated to improve his situation but unsure of what steps he needed to take. It has been great to be able to walk alongside him on his journey and provide support towards his goals” said Kerry.

Finding a new place to live makes him feel a lot happier and relieved.

“I wake up every day saying thank you for this new gift and a roof over my head.”

“I felt I had a ton of bricks on my neck and shoulders before. It’s like taking a huge weight off me.”

Panapa knows his efforts have not been in vain. His confidence has improved and he credits his worker’s support for all the changes in his life.

“I’m living and walking with purpose now. I feel like I’m somebody now. When I came to YFS I knew straight away that I was guided”.

Right now he is focused on taking care of his health but in the near future he would like to find some part time work and travel the world.

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