After being unemployed for several years, Kate Carville’s mental health had reached a low.
Feeling like she was never going to get a job, alongside the barriers she was facing as a transgender woman, Kate was at a crossroads.
During a normal day in October 2022, our Routes To Work team showed up at Kate’s door in Airdrie during one of their many community engagement activities.
Caseworker Jillian Miller introduced herself to Kate and, after hearing her story, they immediately hit it off.
Kate recalled: “It was quite a serendipitous thing. I was in my house, I was having a mare, I was unemployed and I was kind of feeling defeated.
“Then this chap at the door came and it was a woman from Routes To Work, Jillian. She was bubbly and asked me a lot of questions about my situation.
“It was the right chap at the door, at the right time.”
Kate immediately felt connected to Jillian, and they embarked on a journey of support for her.
Through learning more about Kate, there was an initial job opportunity for her, however due to a struggle in trying to provide references she was unsuccessful.
“At one point, I had a job lined up and things were going well, then it just sort of went right out from underneath me and I lost it,” she added.
Following the loss of a potential job offer, Kate entered what she described as a “really dark place”.
It was then that Routes To Work engaged suitable services and Chris’ House – who provide immediate and ongoing support for people experiencing suicidal crisis.
“The next thing I know, I’ve got Jillian and Janice at my door,” she said.
“There was this relentless optimism coming from them.”
Kate agreed to attend meetings at Chris’ House, with Routes To Work supplying her taxis to and from, and over time, she began to once again show interest in finding a job.
She recalled: “Jillian got me down to a jobs fair because she thought there might be something there for me, so I went along and, sure enough, the company I’m now working for had a representative there.
Shortly after, Kate was invited to an interview with a local construction company and was offered a job in admin with them.
When asked how things are going now, Kate said: “It’s interesting and I’m enjoying it.”
Six months later, Kate is still in employment with them.
From the beginning, she has always expressed an interest in up-skilling and has since purchased a computer and a 3D printer, explaining: “Maybe that’ll take me somewhere in the future.
“I need to feel a bit more secure first, before I switch my mind to something else.”
Although our services may no longer be needed, Routes To Work still keeps in touch with Kate.
“I still speak to them on occasion and I know they’re there if I need them”, she explained.
“I would encourage anyone thinking about reaching out to Routes To Work to get in touch with them.
“I would absolutely recommend them.
“I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for them.”