Foundation 61 provides support and sanctuary for Dean

“When I wake up in the morning, I look forward to coming to this place… It’s saved my life.”

Dean, 42, has recently started working at Foundation 61, a live-in community on the outskirts of Geelong, which offers hope and direction for people dealing with life-controlling issues.

The property is a familiar place for Dean, who has spent time there over the years while battling drug addiction. Drugs have been part of Dean’s life since he was a teenager and Foundation 61 provided a sanctuary. But leaving his addiction behind proved difficult for Dean and admissions in and out of rehab have been a regular part of his journey.

“I had a bit of anxiety and depression, and drugs were a way to make me feel more confident. It would make me feel part of the group in a way,” Dean said.

“It got to a point where I’d lost my way, it wasn’t pretty. I did four stints in rehab and that’s really hard – it’s not a place you want to be. But the last time I was there I stuck at it and I’m actually feeling really content with where I’m at now.”

Dean spent almost a decade out of work but completed a Diploma of Counselling and Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs and further education in Mental Health. MatchWorks helped reconnect Dean with Foundation 61 and he has been working there since June, leaning on his own experiences to help other men work their way through addiction.

“We’ve got a metal shop and a woodshop here and I run classes for the guys, helping them through things like recognising anxiety, relationships and other areas,” Dean said.

“The best part about being here is seeing the guys improve physically and mentally, and seeing their families realise those changes too. That’s the most satisfying part for me.”

For more information about Foundation 61 visit www.foundation61.org.au and to learn more about MatchWorks employment services visit www.matchworks.com.au