An encounter with Corrections has helped a Central Region offender, who was living on the streets before prison, turn his life around.

Eight months ago this offender, who served time in prison, was homeless, living rough on the streets and doing whatever it took to survive.

“The interaction an offender has with Corrections can be life changing,” said Principal Advisor Employment Development Kim Smith. “This offender had little hope for the future and in his own words ‘was always going back to prison’.”

As part of his probation agreement, as well as finding suitable accommodation, he was obliged to attend a weekly literacy and numeracy class.

“After working with one of our key service providers, EmployNZ, he managed to improve his numeracy and literacy and complete a basic C.V.,” said Kim. “Then he became inspired to enrol in a more advanced literacy and numeracy course.”

After battling both homelessness and addiction, the offender now had to confront a fear of public speaking and present to his fellow class mates on life behind bars and e-cigarettes as part of the course.

As his confidence increased, the offender managed to secure a place in a computing and administration course.

In nine months the offender went from homeless to hopeful and now has a roof over his head, is about to sit his learner’s Driver Licence and has put his name forward for a job at the Port of Tauranga.

“The training and support provided by Corrections has helped turn his life around,” said Kim. “We have a dedicated team of staff and providers to assist offenders to find employment and that may require helping them find somewhere to live as well as overcome addiction and learning difficulties. But if the offender is willing the support is there.”