New traineeship helps Michelle regain her confidence
- 19 October 2021 12:08PM
Every weekday, Michelle gets up at 6am and makes her way to a construction skills training centre in Brisbane’s West End.
It’s a new experience for her, and a very different place to where she was 12 months ago.
“I lost my job when the COVID-19 pandemic started,” says Michelle, who was working as a cleaner at the time.
“I fell two weeks behind in rent, and then my landlord kicked me out.”
With nowhere to live, Michelle moved into temporary hotel accommodation, supported by specialist homelessness service providers like Bric Housing and Mission Australia, who provide emergency accommodation and help for vulnerable people to transition from homelessness to a more stable future.
They helped Michelle find a safe place to live and eventually, employment.
“The case workers [at the accommodation] were great and after three months, I started to trust them and tell them my story,” says Michelle.
Bric Housing and Mission Australia worked together to help Michelle settle into a unit in Brisbane’s north.
But after she moved in, Michelle started feeling sad and stopped going out. Her home became her refuge.
“It was the first place of my own that I felt safe in,” Michelle says.
“I was going through a lot at the time and I didn’t want to leave the house. My parents were sick and I was trying to find a job, but I was getting knocked back all the time—I was told I was too old.”
That’s when Michelle got to know Johanna, the tenancy manager at BRIC Housing.
“I saw a lot of potential in Michelle to explore a different career path,” says Johanna.
“So, I told her about a paid traineeship in construction through Communify, to encourage her to get out of the house and to help her build her confidence again.”
Michelle says the traineeship is the best thing she has done.
“I love it. It helps me get out of the house now and I don’t lock myself away,” Michelle says.
“I feel there’s a future for me. I feel a lot more confident.”
Michelle has made friends with other people doing the course and will spend 18 weeks learning a new trade and building equipment for the local community.