When we asked what had led her to that point, she said her life was meaningless, and she felt lost and hopeless. She felt like a failure. The shoplifting incident, she explained, was a desperate attempt to feel anything other than despair. Kate had reached such a low point in her life, she said, that she needed something to jolt her into feeling alive again.
Kate was charged over the shoplifting and initially faced a 12-month jail sentence, but successfully appealed and was re-sentenced to a three-month intensive community corrections order. Kate completed her order in 2015, and began to rebuild her life by volunteering at a Salvation Army op shop and studying a traffic management course – but remained unemployed, and was out of work when we met her in 2021.
Kate was referred to Jesuit Social Services through Matchworks, the company that sponsored her traffic management course. We found her a full-time job with a major traffic management company, which Kate has been working in ever since.
Kate is trusting and open. Early on in our work together, she told us her biggest regret was not listening to her parents’ advice about not mixing with the wrong crowd. Her deepest hope, she said, is to help people who are in trouble. We talked about the interesting parallels between her work and her goals – as a traffic controller, she helps set people on the right path.