A FEW SMALL STEPS FOR REUBEN – A LEAP TO A BETTER LIFE

A FEW SMALL STEPS FOR REUBEN – A LEAP TO A BETTER LIFE

When Reuben Fredrickson moved to Kangaroo Island last August, he had no job, no funds and no home.

“I was just living with a friend of mine,” he said.

“I had nothing.”

Things looked up when Reuben found work and was able to rent a place of his own – but after losing that job, paying rent became almost impossible.

Walking into the Kangaroo Island Community Centre, Reuben’s life changed.

“They gave me a food allowance to enable me to live,” he said.

“They liaised with my landlord on my behalf to help me keep my house.

"It was amazing - I don’t know how to explain it.”

Through the Centre, Reuben was also connected to the ACE course which was pivotal to getting his life on track.

Adult Community Education (ACE), a South Australians skills gateway initiative run through KI Community Centre, provides options for gaining skills and learning experiences to support employment pathways and life opportunities.

“ACE gave me skills which I’ll have now for the rest of my life,” Reuben said.

“I learnt how to make the most of your food, to cook, how to use a knife properly, how to budget and live and more healthy.

“My favourite as the curries we made. It’s easy to whip up a chicken curry and way less expensive than take away.

“As a person with dyslexia numbers and words can be really confronting for me. That course just helped break it all down. It’s one of the best things I’ve done.”

Almost 10 months on, Reuben has now left the Island moving closer to family support in Bathurst.

“I’m just so grateful for the help I got to get things together and for the skills I learnt through the Community Centre and to Maree (Junction co-ordinator) and everyone who helped me there,” he said.

“Initially you can be a bit scared to ask for help, but it doesn’t hurt to stick your neck out a bit.

“More often than not people will say yes to helping you. Giving things a go can just make such a difference.”

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