My Name is Oliver James White, I was born on 12/07/1960 in Birr Co. Offaly.
When I was eight years old my family moved to England where I grew up.
At 17 I joined the army and was stationed in Germany. I left the army in 1989 and worked on the farm with my dad until he died in 1997. I then moved back to Offaly.
I worked in a Fun Fair until 2008 when I met my partner and settled in Tralee. We split up in 2010. After we split up I found it hard to pay the rent on my own. Eventually I was threatened with eviction and found myself homeless. Something I could never have imagined.
I presented to the Homeless Information Centre and was referred to Arlington Lodge. I was in Arlington Lodge for a few months before moving to Killeen woods – an independent house with outreach support – where I stayed for about five more months before moving to private rented accommodation at a caravan park outside Tralee. I remained there until November 2015. During that time I regularly visited Arlington where I continued to receive support.
In December 2015 I applied for a Novas apartment and was successful in my application, I have lived there since and am very happy with my home. It is the best place I ever lived. The accommodation is nice and I live with a friend. The company is nice but I’m very independent so we don’t see that much of each other. I’m always out between college, work and my motorbike.
During my time with Novas, I have improved my circumstances substantially, I successfully completed a FETAC level 5 course in Culinary Arts at Kerry Education Services, An Tochar Adult Education Centre, Causeway.
I applied for and got a course in Culinary Arts level 6 & 7 at IT Tralee and have completed years 1& 2, I hope to become a qualified Breakfast Chef. I regularly volunteer to help with the cooking in Arlington at weekends where I enjoy the company and the banter.
During this year I worked as a chef in a local hotel for the summer and they were very happy with my performance – its quiet at the moment but I still get days here and there when they are busy, I really like cooking and wish it to become my life’s career.
I have gone from being homeless a few short years ago to having my own home, a motorcycle and money in my pocket and lots of friends.
Life is Good.