The Wayside Chapel has provided unconditional love, care and support for homeless people on and around the streets of Kings Cross since 1964. Today The Wayside Chapel runs a community centre, youth space and outreach service, mental health programme and community cafe. All the programmes have been developed to ensure the most disadvantaged members of the Kings Cross community have access to essential health, welfare, social and recreational services. In 2013 the charity provided over 80,000 instances of support to people seeking help or a place of solace where they could feel included and accepted.
When the people that The Wayside Chapel support get back on their feet, the first thing they want to do is work. It may seem like a straightforward step, but for people with little or no employment history, unfinished schooling or mental health issues, getting a job can involve a long and difficult road that often ends in frustration and defeat rather than employment.
Only with the generous support from ICAP’s 2014 Charity Day, can we keep this vital programme running. Its one thing to see a spark of hope in a person and help them face their challenges of addiction and homelessness, it’s even more important to instil belief in a person and help them on their journey towards an independent and self-rewarding life.Graham Long, CEO, The Wayside Chapel
A donation from ICAP Charity Day 2014 in Sydney has enabled ‘The Employment Pathways Project’ at Wayside to continue for another 12 months. The project helps visitors to overcome their challenges by creating pathways into employment, training and a vocation. Over the last couple of years the programme has expanded from just youth employment to supporting any Wayside visitor, and is going from strength to strength.
I hadn’t worked for over a year. I really wanted to work and achieve something but my husband told me I could not work and I could not do anything. At Wayside they helped me update my résumé and we started to look for job opportunities. We would spend hours practicing interview questions and this has helped me to believe in myself. The hard work was worth it because I got a customer service job at Telstra and I love my job. I feel so much happier and more confident now that I’m working.Harshita Arora, aged 28, beneficiary of Wayside's Employment Pathways Project
The project matches people who are ready to move into the workforce with organisations that want to make a difference in the community. Wayside's Project Officer helps to rebuild a person’s confidence and provide intensive support to both the person getting placed in a job, as well as the organisation - to ensure the best possible transition for everyone.
The programme enables members of Wayside to start to piece their life back together, and often the first part of this is to find work. Wayside has already seen some impressive results and in the last year the programme has helped nearly 100 recipients. Beneficiaries were given assistance in producing résumés and associated cover letters, supported when attending interviews and provided with the appropriate business attire to make a good first impression with potential employers. The programme gives people the opportunity to change their life for the better and secure employment as a result.
Originally from New Zealand, James was 26 when he came to Wayside. He’d lost his job, and as a Kiwi had no access to government assistance, like Centrelink. He was living on the streets and in his car while trying to put himself through rehab. Over two months, an Employment Pathways Project Officer worked with James to help him find jobs and apply for them. With someone to support and advocate for James, he received training from a labour hire company and was then able to get a job in demolition and labouring. He has now reunited with his partner and children and is looking for an apprenticeship to set him up with a trade going forward.