"I planned to go back into workforce in 2013 but things started to go wrong. It’s been a big uphill battle since then but I feel I’m ready now."
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Single parent Mavis, 48, came to YFS in August 2016 following a friend’s recommendation. She was homeless and experiencing depression and anxiety. She wasn’t coping. “I was living in my car. I had to remove myself from a very bad environment and I didn’t have anywhere to go. I stayed in my car for about six weeks,” she says.
YFS’ Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) program helped Mavis find emergency accommodation. “Within three months my worker helped me get back on my feet and get through my everyday business.” After three months, her application for permanent housing was also approved. She still lives in that house with her six year old son and her 15 year old son comes to visit them often.
“When I had issues and I couldn’t cope, my worker would help get me to the appointments or prompt me. In the process of applying for permanent housing, basically YFS did it all. If it wasn’t for YFS I wouldn’t have a place to live.”
With the help of her worker, Isabel, Mavis addressed her depression and anxiety problems. She went through counselling and group work and she now sees a psychologist.
Isabel says Mavis has faced many challenges in her life but she continues to be strong and reach her goals.
“She is a reflective person. She knows and understands how hard she has worked to improve her life,” Isabel said.
Mavis says she feel really good now. “All this has been good for building my confidence.” Mavis wants to get back on track and find herself a job. She started working when she was 15 and stopped in 2009 when she fell pregnant. “I planned to go back into workforce in 2013 but things started to go wrong. It’s been a big uphill battle since then, but I feel I’m ready now. I’ve recently completed two different workshops for depression and for getting back into the workforce. These are things that I’m saying yes to, to build my confidence. Before this I wouldn’t talk to anyone.”
Mavis is proud of herself. “From doing nothing but going to the shops, buying my food, bringing my son to school and going home and shutting out, I believe I’ve come a long way.” She describes herself as a people person and is now thinking about helping others. “Knowing how I felt back then to what I’m feeling now, to where my future is, I feel I could help people like that too.”
YFS acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are Australia's First
Peoples and the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we meet and work.
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