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Jarrod's Story

‘LOVED BACK TO LIFE’ AT GILLIES HOUSE

Brisbane resident Jarrod has seen addiction destroy entire lives – his own included.

“For everyone I knew who were battling addiction or sleeping on the street, I haven’t met a single person that didn’t want to change. I haven’t met anyone who didn’t wish for a better life,” he said.

For years, Jarrod sadly battled with addiction, ultimately leaving him homeless on the streets of Melbourne in the peak of the COVID-19 lockdown.

“I remember just thinking there was no escape for me – I wasn’t going to make it out.”

“I had lost everything, how could I ever start fresh without a place to live? How could I hold a job? How would I ever start again?” he recalled.

A desperate call to one of Jarrod’s mentors and old friends became his first step in the escape he never thought possible.

Matt, who had his own inspiring experience overcoming addiction and homelessness, connected Jarrod to the St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland.

With a renewed sense of determination, arriving in Queensland Jarrod was offered a place in residential recovery-based program, Gillies House.

The support team at Gillies House met Jarrod with so much more than a safe place to sleep.

For the first in a long time, he was surrounded with people who wanted to see him succeed and greeted him each day with care and support as he embarked on his journey to recovery.

“Vinnies does it different – they just get it right,” Jarrod said.

“That love and encouragement I had at Gillies, that gentle hand on the shoulder – it’s unbelievable the difference it’s made.

“I feel like I’ve been loved back to life.”

After successfully completing the program at Gillies House, Jarrod secured his own apartment and now lives independently working full-time in Brisbane. He continues to be supported by St Vincent de Paul on his journey to rehabilitation and recovery.