Job help a life saver for Donna

Published: 27 July 2020 3:28PM by Queensland Government Department of Housing and Public Works

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Help from Logan-based not-for-profit organisation YFS has made Donna smile again, thanks to support through the Dignity First Fund.

The $2.5 million Fund backs community organisations across Queensland that support people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Programs that provide immediate and long-term assistance for vulnerable people are the focus for this year’s special COVID-19 response round.

Donna lost her job right before the pandemic.

“I was working for a call centre and was dismissed two weeks before Christmas,” she says.

“I was six weeks without any income. I was behind in my car loan, couldn’t pay my utilities, or my rent. I was getting thousands of dollars into debt. My daughter worked 12 hours days just to help us get by.

“I’m a proud person so asking for help isn’t always easy. But without the help of YFS, I don’t know where I would be.”

Donna spotted a job in disability care and applied for it. It was a dream opportunity – the chance to help people and get her finances back in order.

“Donna needed support getting her yellow card, blue card, police check [and] online application for a job,” says Vanessa, a YFS Employment Mentor who connected with Donna.

“She couldn’t get the help anywhere else, so she came to YFS.

“It wasn’t just paying for the cards, it was navigating the computer and the systems – a lot of time sitting with Donna and filling out forms.”

Donna found comfort in telling YFS about her challenges and was surprised at the response.

“The support from YFS was totally amazing. It changed my life,” says Donna.

“They listened and showed empathy. There was no judgement, they just offered the support I needed emotionally as well as financially.

“It’s good to know that somebody believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself – to help guide me toward a better life.”

Better outcomes for job seekers

YFS supports positive employment outcomes for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“A home means everything to someone. If you don’t have a roof over your head, it just makes you feel worthless,” says Vanessa.

“Seeing someone get into employment and provide for themselves, for me that’s a great outcome.”

YFS is supported through the COVID-19 round of the Dignity First Fund to provide essential employment support to job seekers.

If you need help or this story has raised issues for you, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

To learn more about the Dignity First Fund visit qld.gov.au/dignityfirst.