Brandon: Building a better future

Close up of Brandon, a young man who is wearing a high-visibility work shirt

Brandon became a client of our West Leederville team after a series of events left him sleeping rough as a 17 year old. Our team helped him find work experience with a construction company and the very first project he worked on was building accommodation for other people experiencing homelessness. This is his story.

I know what it’s like to be homeless. There were many days without food, showering or shelter – my only comfort was my phone, it kept me connected to the world. I always kept a phone charger hidden somewhere.

Many of my friends wanted to help, but their parents would not let me stay over as I was deemed a bad influence due to past indiscretions. Surprisingly, some of my friends would instead come and sleep rough with me for a night or two just to make sure I was safe.

I slept on cardboard and made barriers with shopping trolleys. There were no luxuries such as blankets or pillows. One of the shopping centres had a compassionate security guard who would save slices of Domino pizza for me.

A welcoming space

As a street wise 17-year-old, I was excited to get some work experience with Kardan Construction. But at the same time I was nervous to meet new people and travel to new places. I had only ever worked with my Grandpa before.

It did not take long for the Kardan team to welcome me into their business. They were all friendly, helpful, and very kind. I was teamed up with a person who took his duty of care very seriously. He was always checking on me and making sure we had regular breaks after certain tasks.

After experiencing homelessness myself, I felt so proud to be part of the Boorloo Bidee Mia Transitional Housing Project. I understand how important it is to have a safe place to stay.

When I was homeless I remember calling 30 organisations for help – but they were all at full capacity for men. I remember walking the streets until I was too tired to walk anymore, then find the closest and safest place to sleep. Normally this would be an underground carpark.

Boorloo Bidee Mia is a great place for homeless people to use. When I visited recently there were already people occupying the lower floor. I think this is a great concept and set up well for individuals to have their own space or to interact as part of a group. There is security, which is so important.

I really feel privileged to be able to work on this terrific project, and to work with Kardan Construction.

 


Forrest Personnel supports people with an injury, illness or disability to find and keep jobs.
If you’re a job seeker or an employer – we’d love to work with you. 
Send us an email or call us on 1800 224 548.