28 March 2022
Sleeping in his car for three months, 40-year old Jhana Hurinui had hit rock bottom. He had lost his job, had nowhere to live and did not know where to go for help.
“I was sleeping in my car for three months, had lost my job, and my home. I and was feeling really down,” said Jhana.
Jhana was referred to our employment team to support him to get a job. He met with Steven Naidu, our Employment Services Team Leader.
“When I first met Jhana, I knew he desperately wanted to change his situation. Even though he faced many challenges, he was focused and determined. We started by having honest conversations, and one of the main things I wanted him to know was that I was not going to give up on him, he had my full support.”
Every week, Steven and Jhana met and slowly Jhana started to take positive steps to improve his situation. Because of covid-19, they met outside the office on the steps. It became a familiar and safe space for Steven to build trust with Jhana.
The first challenge for Jhana was to remain drug-free as he had lost his job due to a failed drug test.
“Full credit to Jhana, he was focused and determined not to fail his drug test again. I gave him tests every week. When he started to change his behaviour and return negative drug tests, I knew he could achieve whatever he set his mind to”.
Steven supported Jhana to find a place to live, Jhana also found support with a local church which helped him to trust in something bigger than himself, and have faith that his situation would improve.
“Steven was one of the only people that went out of his way to support me. He helped me find a place to live, and spoke to my employer who were willing to give me a second chance.
“I’m so appreciative of the love and positivity from Steven. He helped me get my life back. Receiving help from someone who I didn’t even know makes me so grateful.
After two months of regular meetings and taking small steps to achieve his goals, Jhana was able to go back to his fulltime job.