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Joseph’s Journey from Homelessness to New Heights

From unemployment and experiencing homelessness to installing roofs on some of the largest commercial properties in Adelaide. Joseph thanks Workskil Australia for his success.


However a year ago he didn’t have a roof over his own head or a job.

The 37-year-old was then sleeping rough and unemployed.

“I was just out of prison and estranged from my family and relatives,” he recalled.

“I had no accommodation of my own, no support network and no work."

“It felt like I was in complete limbo."

“I had been a street kid in my teenage years, so I knew how to live rough."

“I stayed a few nights at a mate’s place but soon found myself huddled up next to a wall at the train station. It was the middle of July last year and it was freezing.

“I walked into the local Workskil Australia office the next morning and started to turn my life around. That afternoon I had my first job interview and I haven’t looked back since.”

With the help of the Workskil Australia team, Joseph, who has a trades background and used to work as a fitter, got back on his feet and immediately landed a job on a building site as a casual through Tech-Force recruitment.

Joseph is currently employed full time as a roofer on commercial building sites.

“It’s tough physical work and very satisfying,” Joseph said.

“You really develop a bond with the guys next to you and I love coming home feeling like I’ve done a good day’s work.”

As well as receiving a regular pay packet, Joseph now lives in rental accommodation in Adelaide.

His experience of unemployment and homelessness is not uncommon.

“My life was torn apart by drugs and I spent about three and a half years either homeless or in prison,” Joseph said.

“I’ve slept at train stations, in playgrounds and anywhere that can provide some shelter as well as having done plenty of couch surfing."

“Not having a home makes finding a job almost impossible."

“It’s very hard to make yourself presentable for an interview with no access to hot water, a change of clothes or even an alarm clock. You are filled with self-doubt and loathing, which can be very hard to overcome.”

Workskil Australia provided Joseph with a new set of clothes, assistance with his resume, helped him search for temporary housing and organised for an interview with an organisation seeking casual building site workers.

“Most importantly they boosted my confidence to take that first interview and I got the job,” Joseph said.

“My life has turned around."

Joseph won Achiever of the Year at the 2023 National Employment Services Association (NESA) Awards for Excellence. This award recognises a former participant who has received employment assistance, and who has overcome extraordinary challenges to achieve employment.

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