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Homeless man warren cady working at his new job

You may be wondering how can a homeless person get a job?

Warren Cady was a Car Detailer for 10 years and after a freak accident, became homeless for a year and a half.

Then the Coronavirus pandemic hit Australia.

He couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but thanks to support he received from ETC and his commitment to change his situation – Warren is working again, living in a house and wants to share his story to help inspire others.

Below you can read our interview with Warren, his Jobs Advisor and Trainer at ETC.

Interview with Warren

Warren, talk us through your journey of homelessness

“I broke my shoulder and lost my job all in a matter of weeks, which then resulted in me becoming homeless. Initially all I had was a towel, blanket and pillow. Eventually I bought myself a tent for some shelter, although that didn’t provide much protection as there were times when I was beaten up by people on the streets.

I accessed my Super early so that I could buy myself a car. I spent so much time and money just driving around trying to find safe places to sleep at night.

Some days I would have only one meal a day. I did it very tough and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was so different to what I was used to – I had been a hard worker all my life.

I eventually discovered Fred’s Place – they fed me meals and gave me a place to wash my clothes. I’m really appreciative of the help I received from the volunteers there.

Then I was referred to ETC.”

What things did ETC help you with during the pandemic?

“ETC saw the potential in me and brought it out, which helped me to get a job.

I really appreciate everything that they did for me and would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.

Tayla and Gordon went over and above – I couldn’t thank them enough for all the help that they gave.”

How has your life changed?

“So back in April ETC put me forward for a job with ISS Facility Services as a cleaner for schools and public libraries.

With my background in car detailing, I’m able to bring my attention to detail to this role.

I’m cleaning all the touch points – helping to keep the community germ free.

It’s great being back in the workforce.

I’m also sharing a house with someone and finally have an anchor.”

Warren, what is your advice to other job seekers, especially trying to find work during the pandemic?

“I know these are dire times but you just need to hold your head up.

There are people out there and services that will provide support – so use all the help you can get.

I had so much pride and was initially too scared to ask for help when I was homeless, but I knew I had to get out of the situation I was in and into a job. I’m so glad I reached out for help in the end.”

Thanks Warren for sharing your story!

Next up, here is our interview with Warren’s Jobs Advisor Tayla

“Not only was Warren sleeping rough but he also had physical ailments which prevented him from finding work, but that never stopped him giving everything a go.

Initially we engaged him with counselling services for support and encouragement.

He was also referred to our Career Transition Assistance (CTA) Program, where he fully engaged in the training and resulted in  increased confidence and ability to look for work. Gordon the CTA Trainer assisted Warren with his Resume, job applications and interview skills. Although still sleeping in his car, Warren always showed up to appointments and job interviews.

After completing CTA we then helped him gain a cleaning role with All-ways Cleaning which he enjoyed but unfortunately wasn’t getting the hours needed to get him off the streets. ETC assisted keeping his car on the road with repairs and services where required as this was not only his transport but his home.

Then Warren found a room for rent through a friend. Unable to pay for bond, ETC was able to access funding to help get him into a home. Warren was so grateful to sleep in a bed and have a place to store his items.

ETC was relentless in referring Warren  to roles where he had a number of interviews. In April he was successful in gaining a role through ISS Facility Services as a Cleaner which he enjoys and is getting plenty of hours.

Thanks Tayla!

Lastly, we speak to Gordon, ETC’s CTA Trainer who spent a lot of time with Warren

“Originally Warren had told us about his homelessness story not to seek sympathy, but more to keep us informed of his situation. He admitted” it sucked”’ and he had made up his mind to change it.

The discipline of attending the CTA course encouraged him to give up drinking as he admitted it contributed significantly to the situation he was in.

At CTA, Warren was the first one to attend each morning and he was a positive and encouraging participant. The other customers in the course were taken aback when he disclosed his situation to them; his generally positive nature and appearance belied the circumstances. 

I’ve no doubt the training and camaraderie built with other customers helped and the casual hours added to his improving self-esteem and financial state.

Warren’s house mate was grieving for her recently deceased partner and was drinking heavily. Warren over time become a person to lean on and talk to. 

Months later, he is still working, looks a million dollars dressed up for work with a smile on his face and tells us he’s helped his house mate give up drinking.

He truly is a great story of resilience. He admits his mistakes, accepted his situation and made a commitment to change that.”

Thanks Gordon!

Are you homeless and need support to get a job?

Or do you just need some help to find work during the pandemic?

ETC can help you!

Find out more about ETC’s services for job seekers here >

Find out more about the CTA Program here >



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