Job help a life saver for Donna
- 27 July 2020 3:28PM
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.”
Vanessa: YFS is a not for profit organisation that helps vulnerable people in the Logan and surrounding areas. When COVID-19 happened a lot of people lost jobs. And no jobs meaning they cannot pay their rent.
Donna: The support from YFS was totally amazing. Changed my life. I was 6 weeks behind in my rent. Worrying about losing my car, because I’d only just purchased a new vehicle, wondering where the next meals coming from.
Donna: I was already offered the job to work in disability care, I just needed the cards.
Vanessa: Donna was one of my very first clients to come through the program. She needed a lot of support getting her yellow card, blue card, police check, the online application, for a job that she wanted. She said she couldn’t get the help anywhere else, so she came to YFS.
Donna: I needed my marriage certificate as well, so we’re talking quite a substantial amount of money. I’m a proud person so asking for help is not always easy. I walked up here and met the lovely Vanessa, told her my story, within a heartbeat she was helping me.
Vanessa: It wasn’t just paying for those stuff, it was all navigating the computer or the systems, so it was a lot of time sitting with Donna and filling out those forms.
Donna:They just listened and just showed empathy. Without them I don’t know where I would be. I think I would be homeless.
Vanessa: Donna is very grateful for the support, and everything that YFS and the Dignity First Fund has supported her. Without the funding, without YFS she wouldn’t have got that job.
Donna: I want to give. I just don’t want to sit behind a desk anymore. I want to do something that changes people’s lives and changes my life at the same time. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my 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.