My name is Craig and I first came to Hutt St Centre 7 years ago after sleeping rough in Sydney every now and then. I moved to Adelaide with my dog and best mate, Tiger.
When I first arrived I slept near the brewery in Thebarton. After visiting Centrelink one day, the worker suggested I go to a place called Hutt St Centre for a meal. I was then given a social worker to help me find a house. It took a really long time and for nearly 2 years I slept in the parklands. Finally I received a house through Housing Trust – a place where I could live with Tiger.
Everything seemed to be working out well until I broke my leg playing soccer and was hospitalised on heavy medication. I wouldn’t have been able to recover from the operation so well if it wasn’t for the constant support of my social worker.
I never thought I would ever see another certificate in my life, especially to do with education, so I am still coming to terms that I have actually achieved something academic. The Education and Training team were so helpful and kept telling me that if I was committed to it, and wanted to do it, that they would be behind me 100 percent. So that gives you more encouragement; that you know you have someone to back you up.
With the help of the staff at Hutt St Centre I looked at what kinds of training I would be interested in. I have always found it hard to study and school was never really my thing. I left school in Year 10 with hardly any qualifications. I knew for me I needed to start something small to work my way up and also improve my confidence so I decided to join the Gang Green’s (a group of us meet every Thursday and clean the rubbish off of Hutt Street and water the garden beds) and the cooking program.
Next step I decided was to start my Certificate III – so I could finally be on my way to a job.Even now as I think about it, I pinch myself as I look at my Certificate III at Red Cross College and wonder how I even done that – something I would never have imagined being possible before. I have now also enrolled myself in Certificate IV in Community Services. There’s one aim, and one aim only, to complete this Certificate IV. We’re not doing these courses for the fun of it; we’re only doing it because I want to be doing it.
Even if it’s not full time [work] straight off, but part-time. Even if it’s only one or two days a week, just to start off as that, and then work my way up to full-time – I will be happy. I feel like I have a real responsibility now and hope to prove that I am keen to work hard. Along with this, I have started voluntary work in Community Services and am hoping this will turn into full-time paid work.I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help and support from the staff at Hutt St Centre and will be forever grateful for the second chance I have been given.
“It’ll be good after getting work to come in here one day and being able to say, “I’ve actually just finished my first day of work”.