YFS sparks Sheena’s confidence with employment
- 21 April 2021 2:58PM
After struggling to get back on her feet after long-term unemployment, Logan resident, Sheena picked up the phone to call YFS and things changed for the better, with the help of the Dignity First funded SPARK program.
Sheena had a work background in administration and commercial cleaning but found it difficult to find a job after being out of the workforce for a number of years because she was caring for her children.
“I had been out of work for nearly 10 years. I had lost confidence in myself. I applied for so many jobs on my own and did my own resume and was getting no response whatsoever,” she said.
When Sheena joined the SPARK program she met with Vanessa the employment mentor from the program, to fine-tune her resume skills.
“After a week of being in the SPARK program and Vanessa showing me how to approach the process, I got an interview,” Sheena said.
“Vanessa went through my resume and gave me the tools to approach employment. I thought I knew what to do and had these skills already, but I didn’t.”
When Sheena got the interview, she was faced with the dilemma of having nothing appropriate to wear to a job interview and needing her driver’s licence renewed so she could drive to work if she got the job. Vanessa stepped in to help.
“Vanessa and I raced across the road to Kmart to find something suitable to wear. The interview was at short notice and I wanted to make a good impression. Vanessa paid for my clothes and I got dressed at the shopping centre and went straight to my interview,” said Sheena.
“Vanessa also paid for me to renew my driver’s licence so that I could legally get to work if I got the job.”
Sheena was successful in getting the job but faced another barrier with car problems that would prevent her getting to her new job. Sheena found that this time, she was able to solve this problem.
“Two days before I started work the alternator in my car stopped working and on the first day of my job, I got a flat tyre. I felt disheartened when this first happened, but I was able to get a no interest loan for the repairs which I’ll pay back now I’m earning money in my job,” Sheena said.
For Sheena, having a job means so much to her.
“Now I’ve found employment I’m looking forward to the future with stability, and plan to maintain my employment, set an example for my kids and save money.”
Working in a second-hand store has also given Sheena a sense of purpose.
“The best thing about my job is the fact that I have a job. I have somewhere to go each day and the people I work with are lovely,” she said.
Sheena says that the SPARK program has turned her life around.
“I feel great now that I have a job. I feel like I’m going somewhere. For my own dignity and self-respect, I feel a lot better,” Sheena said.
Sheena also has high praise for Vanessa’s support in helping her find employment.
“Vanessa is so positive; she gave me a new mindset that I can do anything,” said Sheena.
“She was on my case all the time and helped give me the confidence to seek employment.”
Vanessa says that YFS, a Logan-based not-for-profit organisation and Specialist Homelessness Service, would not have been able to help people like Sheena to find employment if it were not for the Dignity First funding YFS received.
SPARK targets people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, helping them get work so they can afford decent housing.
“This funding has helped over 100 people find employment and maintain it during this time. We make sure that like Sheena, they are ready and willing to enter the workforce and understand what is expected so that they can successfully find and keep a job,” Vanessa said.
Looking to the future, Sheena is positive about what she can achieve.
“I like my job and hopefully I can move up the ladder and manage a store one day,” said Sheena.
“I can see myself moving forward. My children can be more proud of me now.”
YFS received funding through the Dignity First Fund COVID-19 Response to support people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The organisations funded such as YFS delivered immediate and longer-term services to support vulnerable people across Queensland.