Putting a life back together

Christopher Keillor (Coogee) Able Fence Painting
Christopher Keillor (Coogee) Able Fence Painting

But he has been anything but inattentive while trying to put his life back together since.

The 33-year-old has had a hard time trying to get people to see past his wheelchair and give him a chance with a job.

‘I was with disability support services for four years but during that time I didn’t get a single interview,’ he said.

‘I mean, I know I’m disabled but I was really hoping to be able to find some kind of work.’

His struggle to find work morphed into a struggle to make ends meet and a trip to St Patricks Community Support Centre for some help with clothing and grocery vouchers.

From that grew a determination that if nobody was going to help him get a job, he was going to have to help himself.

‘That’s why I decided to start my own fence painting business, I was sick of waiting for a job,’ he said.

‘I used to paint before I lost the use of my legs, so I have good skills in that area and lots of experience.

‘It’s also something I can do in my wheelchair; in fact, I’m more efficient because I don’t get as tired as able-bodied people because I’m sitting down.’

Aptly calling his business Able Fence Painting, Mr Keillor said he was already feeling better being back at work.

St Patrick’s chief executive Steve McDermott said with the recent Homeless Persons Week bringing awareness to the ordeal many people still lived through, it was good to hear the success stories.

‘It’s crucial that people understand things don’t have to be a certain way, that change is possible,’ he said.

‘We see it here at St Pats all the time everyday, people making the sort of changes that can really change their lives and their futures.’

To contact Able Fence Painting, call 0414 393 579.