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8 December 2020
Trevor with the Salvos' Major Brendan Nottle, at Project 614 in Melbourne (photo taken before COVID-19 social-distancing restrictions).
After being retrenched, Trevor struggled with drinking and gambling. Things began to change when he came to The Salvation Army Project 614 in Melbourne – and he was given more than housing and a job – he found hope in Jesus.
Words Trevor Wulf
I’m a born-and-bred Victorian, and I came into the world in Dandenong (south-east Melbourne). I’m 63 now.
I had a long-term job with Kodak, starting in 1992, and that was a large chunk of my life until I was retrenched at the end of 2004. I was shocked, because I thought I’d be there until I retired.
At the age of 48, going on 49, I found it hard to get back into the workforce. I had a job at a meat factory that went well until the company went bankrupt.
I wasn’t raised as a church person; I used to drink and gamble my money away. I came to the Salvos at Melbourne Project 614* in 2010 because I was broke. They listened to me, understood me and they helped me. That made an impression. I started volunteering the next year.
We used to have Recovery Church (at the Salvos) on a Tuesday night and I started attending, then started going along to the Sunday meetings. I started helping with things.
I gradually became a Christian – it took a while to sink in, and for my life to change. It took time, but I got there – thank God!
In 2013, the Magpie Nest Program** started, and I got housed. The next year, Major Brendan Nottle (co-leader, Project 614) asked me if I wanted to work for the church as a cleaner. I took him up on the offer, and I have worked and worshipped here ever since.
In 2015, a position opened, working in the cafe; I applied for it and got the role. I later did three years of the night cafe, which was fun. But I wasn’t getting any younger, so I asked to go back on the daytime shifts.
God is a big part of my life. These days I wake up and I am rapt to be alive. Life is good. I’ve recently moved into my own place and I am happy.
As told to Barry Gittins.
* Project 614 is a group of Salvos passionate about supporting those experiencing homelessness in the inner city of Melbourne. Located on Bourke Street in Melbourne’s city centre, it welcomes rough sleepers, lonely people and anyone seeking shelter, food and community. The on-site Magpie Nest Cafe provides 1700 meals a week to the vulnerable over breakfast and lunch. During the cold winter months, those with nowhere safe to sleep are welcomed into a warm and secure environment.
** Magpie Nest is a partnership between Project 614 and the Collingwood Football Club Foundation. It provides stable and affordable accommodation in a clean and safe environment, where tenants are involved in volunteering in other programs at Project 614 and attend regular house meetings and