Hannah’s Story

Hannah's Story

"I wanted to find a way out of my situation. I needed to know I had a future and that I was worthy of it."

When Hannah first entered the Pathways For Change program—a paid on-the-job trainee and employment initiative at our For Change Cafes—she was in a tough spot. After escaping family violence, she found herself homeless, sleeping on couches until she was able to secure transitional housing

“I was very scared, alone, and couldn’t see any paths forward.”

Hannah’s introduction to For Change Co. marked a turning point. Despite the hardships, including limited sleep and food, Hannah was determined to improve her situation. She saw the program as a chance to build a future and prove her worth.

Hannah completed her traineeship at For Change Cafe, Middle Park, where she found joy in everyday situations, building relationships with regular customers and learning every dog’s name that visited. A particularly memorable moment was when a trainer noticed Hannah’s struggle due to her height and worked to adjust the equipment, highlighting the work of our team to support the individual needs of our trainees.

Through For Change Co, Hannah gained essential skills in empathy, teamwork, and leadership. More importantly, she discovered her self-worth and confidence.

“I found that I am a skilled, worthy person,” Hannah shares. “I learned how to be part of a team, and had so many amazing examples that taught me how to lead and how to teach with kindness.”

The skills Hannah acquired at For Change Co have been invaluable in her new workplace, where she has quickly risen to the position of supervisor and is on track for manager training. The high standards, adaptability, and teamwork she learned have been her greatest assets in transferring to her new role.

Today, Hannah lives in a beautiful terrace house, a stark contrast to her previous living conditions. Her home has everything she once thought impossible – a washer/dryer, a bathtub, and even visiting cats.

"While these may seem petty or silly to some people, these are things I have never had in a safe, happy environment."

Looking ahead, Hannah’s biggest goal is to encourage businesses to work with programs like For Change Co. She believes these partnerships benefit both the businesses and the trainees, helping to change the lives of young people. Hannah dreams of seeing more former trainees achieve their goals and inspire others.