Dignity First Fund Queensland

Dignity First Fund Queensland


I’m from Weipa. I moved to Brisbane three years ago. I was on the street. I met up with Brisbane Youth Service. They directed me to the Second Shot. Second Shot is an employment solution for
young homeless and disadvantaged people. They’re really working closely with them to
get them out of their situation, get them stable and hopefully move them on to being
a member of the community. We talk about what do you want? What do you wanna do? We understand you’ve got a past but that’s
not why we’re here. We wanna talk about your future. They have helped me to get into the police force, assistant recruiting officer for 12 months. I am excited and, yeah, very grateful for
Second Shot. Dignity First Fund enabled us to get started. I had nothing other than an idea. They provided us with the startup capital. Without them it would be just an idea. We see their self-worth increasing and they’re
gonna take that forward as adults. They’re off the welfare system. They’re renting their own apartments. There’s a multiplier effect. I’ve been through a range of feelings actually,
from our first day of training when we only sold four cups in four hours and I thought
it’s not gonna work. Through to having some really big days where
you know that you’ve put the team members through stressful period. That’s a real sense of satisfaction we get
watching them at the end of the day, high fiving each other and saying, “We did it.” When I was in high school, about the age of
15, 16, I started realising I was part of the LGBTI community. When a young person is in high school at that
age and realising they’re part of the community, it can often feel like they’re very alone. Having a place where someone does not have
to feel alone and can actually realise that there are other people like them, that means a lot. Open Doors Youth Service work with young LGBTIQAP
plus people within Southeast Queensland. For a lot of our young people, our service
here at the valley is the only safe space that they have. It’s free from discrimination, bullying, and
harassment. I remember the first time coming into the
service, it was like a big relief just being able to be myself and feeling happy and
proud of who I am. The Dignity First grant has been incredible
for our organisation because nothing had really been touched for the last 15 years. We were able to completely overhaul and upgrade
the space which is fantastic. We have now got an opportunity to really improve,
I guess, their quality of life and ability to become self-sufficient when they leave
our service. Honestly, I don’t think anyone that hasn’t
actually been on the streets or in a situation where you’re stuck and there’s nowhere you
can go. We’ve got no cooking facilities ’cause we
live in a park, see. So we didn’t cook and we can’t cook. Second Bite, their main aim is to feed people
who need to be fed. There’s a lot of people who need to be fed
in Australia and in Queensland. And without companies like Second Bite I don’t
know how they’d eat. I was actually quite bored in my career as
a chef and I wanted to utilise my skills in a way that will help people. We offer a range of breakfast to a community
that’s struggling, that live on the streets, in the park, in the car. We feed anywhere between 20 to 50 people. It’s a good start in the morning and it just
boosts their morale to start the day. I love coming down here, actually. Coming to sit down and chatting to everyone
and socialising, basically, while were eating. It’s like we’re normal again.