“I grew up in a South Island coastal town. I had troubles learning how to read and write and was bullied a lot at school because of that, so when I turned 15, I moved to work in the bush for two years.
Many of my close relatives passed away in a short period of time which was very difficult to cope with. I started to move around a lot, but eventually settled in Auckland. That was where my problems started.
I lost my Housing New Zealand home due to no fault of my own and became homeless. It was a time and an experience I don’t wish on anybody; it was horrible. I had no one and nowhere to sleep.
Emergency housing in Auckland meant sharing accommodation with drug addicts and people with mental illnesses and violent behaviour. It was hard to get a good night’s sleep because you couldn’t trust anyone. I started to get into trouble with the people I was spending time with. I was facing charges and was on the path to go to prison which seemed like the best option at the time. Not having a roof over your head, food on the table or a job, I was on a road to nowhere.
With nothing left to lose but the shirt I was wearing, I jumped onto a plane to Christchurch to leave everything behind. That was around the time Pathway stepped in - about one year ago. Trevor and Chrissie at Pathway helped me out so much.
Now I am 8 months drug-free, I have my own place again and a part-time job that makes me really happy. Before I used the services of Pathway I got rejected so many times, at rental places as well as at job interviews.
Now I can plan a future. My next steps will be getting a car and hopefully a full time position. I’m looking forward to saving up a bit of money and going on my first real holiday.”
(*name has been changed)