I’ve had a very colourful past, raised around gangs, violence, stuff like that. Been to prison many times, that’s pretty much been my life. I got released from prison and went to rehab, so that’s how I first heard about Pathway and what they do. And you hear ‘We never give up’. F*** I’ve heard this before, but they don’t.
I went through the programme and that was great. I learnt lots of tools and heaps about myself and why I do what I do, but then once I left there, they weren’t there. Like if I didn’t have Pathway, I think rehab, even though it done good, it would have been a waste of time. I’ve been with Pathways ever since and I think I’ll be with Pathway for a long time.
My life’s been hard, but coming out from rehab with all these new tools, trying to be good, trying to do the right thing, but always hitting the same f***en road block would have been harder for me. So I’m glad Pathway was there.
Rehab rips you open, they pull it all out, play around with it and send you back out the door. What I’ve found is I’ve had pathways to sort of stick it all back in and sew it all back up. That’s what they do. You can offload and get advice, anything, laugh, not even speak. It’s sort of like extended whānau.
I’ve learnt so many strategies, I didn’t even know that many existed. I’ve been stuck in a pattern for so long, in and out of prison for 17 years. Whenever something happens, my first thoughts are negative, I don’t even think before I act, so I’ve learnt many different ways to keep myself in check.
They got me my job, I’m so happy! I’ve never had a job. I can now call myself a contributing member of society. Nobody ever in my past, they would have bet a million dollars that would never come out my mouth, I was pretty naughty. It’s good; I’ve got money, I can save, I can get things for my baby, I can get things for myself, for my puppy, I opted back into Kiwisaver. So I’m very appreciative to the whole Pathway team.
[Pathway team member] done me the best CV of my life. Pathways got me my boots, my pants, like a whole starter kit, socks, lunch, petrol, to make sure my transition to work was good. [Pathway team member] was like we’ll sort this out for your first four weeks and if you get the job then we’ll go through Work and Income (WINZ) for your work stuff. We haven’t done that because the old me would have been like yeah f*** I’ll get what I can out of WINZ, but now I don’t actually need to be like that because I can get it myself. I’ve taken all my life so it’s time to pay my dues and give back.
I lost my license and when I was offered the four week trial I had no way to get to work. Pathway were down to bus me there, drop me off there, bus home, like they were willing and prepared to do anything to get me to work.
I’ve joined on with the apprenticeship, so soon I’ll have a trade. Who knows where to from there, the possibilities are endless. Once upon a time I wouldn’t have looked that far into the future. But I’m hopeful.
I’ve never even had a proper job, but I show up every day because I don’t want to let down the employer, who I’m grateful to but you know there’s many other people that I would let down too. I’m really thankful for what I’ve got and who helped me achieve it all! *Name has been changed and any identifiers removed