An update from Tom


August 25, 2022

Tom’s story was featured in our recent Winter Appeal.

Last time we spoke with Tom (pictured), he kindly shared with us how Meals for Change, Ballarat’s community meals program, had helped turn his life around.

An update from Tom.

Finding himself homeless at only 18 years of age, Tom says he wouldn’t be where he is today if it hadn’t been for the support he received at Uniting.

Although Tom no longer drops into Meals for Change, he still keeps in touch with Jen (pictured), the program’s Coordinator and his “guardian angel at Uniting”.

“Tom is going so well”, Jen reports. “And has recently secured work with a local business owner in construction renovating a Ballarat landmark.”

Tom completed a TAFE furniture-making course back when he was a Meals for Change member.

You may remember Tom had previously started his own gardening business, however, recently he has decided on a career change.

“He’s always had a strong interest in wood and construction.

“I’m just so proud of him but more importantly he should be proud of himself.”

Thank you for spreading hope this winter.

For many like Tom, winter can bring a world of worry.

With the rising cost of living and residual impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are sleeping rough and worrying where their next meal will come from.

Services like Meals for Change can be the boost they need to get back on their feet.

Unfortunately, this past year we have seen more people than ever accessing our services.

Luckily, there are generous people like you making a difference in their lives. Catherine Byrne, Uniting’s Emergency Relief Coordinator for Goulburn North East and Wodonga, knows how important this support is.

“They make a huge impact,” says Catherine.  Catherine explains this winter the team have handed out more and more tents to people.

“It’s not a pretty picture,” she says. “Rentals are becoming too high for many people existing on JobSeeker payments. They’re struggling to pay their rent.

“So they are very grateful for any support.”

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