Mellissa Nightingale has been with Chorus under the NDIS My Way programme since January 2016. She has been teamed up with her Support Worker Belinda Fic for 2 months. Several months ago Mellissa found herself homeless, sleeping on the concrete under a carport, eating donated food from food trucks and with only one set of clothing. Melissa says that at this time in her life she felt mistreated by many people and was without kindness in her life. With Chorus’ support Mellissa says “I’ve learnt to pick myself up. I felt like ‘a nobody.’ It felt like no one wanted to help me. It’s nice now to be given a chance.”

Through working together with Chorus’ support team and exploring the options available to her, Mellissa is now in a position to submit a housing application with HomesWest and is saving money through income management with Centrelink. She has money each week to spend utilising her Basics Card and is looking forward to buying furniture for her new home when it is available. She hopes in the future to even be able to buy a car and is currently studying for her Learner’s Permit.

Mellissa is enjoying participating in the Ability Arts program in Mandurah on a weekly basis and feels very supported and connected to the friends she spends time with in her pottery group. “It doesn’t matter how you are feeling, if you’re sick or injured, up or down, you are still part of the group.”

Increasing her self-worth has played a big factor in Mellissa’s recent successes. She has been learning to use positive affirmations and how to use assertive language, even how to say ‘No’ in negative situations. “I’m happy. I’m learning new things, and it’s nice to be helped when I was down and out and in the cold. I’m happy being part of Community First through the ups and the downs. It’s nice to have someone to be there, to talk to, and to get advice from and guide me to think of myself.”

Mellissa’s life motto is … ‘Never give up hope!’