By Leize Marie Davis
One of our key focuses in ending homelessness is empowering our clients to retain employment. Many of our clients do not have trouble getting a job, but most do not keep jobs for very long. A significant number of our women report being fired from a job due to tardiness or conflict in the workplace.
Our vocational outcomes are that clients would:
- Obtain skills and knowledge necessary to maintain a job
- Obtain skills and tools necessary to search for employment
- Maintain a level of employment and income necessary to save and support healthy living
Our primary mechanism for job training is work assignments. Our Client Support Services team works create “real life” work environments to coach and train our men and women. Each week clients receive an evaluation based on the following criteria: Punctuality, Problem Solving, Attitude, Accuracy, Teamwork, and Communication. Work Assignments are designed to help clients gain the necessary soft skills to remain employed.
Work Assignments also allow our clients an opportunity to practice the skills and tools they are learning in counseling and other classes. It is one thing to say you are able to control your anger in a calm and peaceful therapy environment, but quite another when you have been working in the kitchen all day and someone complains about the food.
Designed to Work
We were designed to work. The Lord told Adam to “cultivate the earth”. Before he had a companion, Adam had a job. Also, research shows that our clients have better recovery outcomes (addiction, trauma, etc.) when they have stable employment. Employment connects us to other people and improves our self-esteem. Work is not simply a mechanism to meet our basic needs. It provides dignity and hope.
Men and women walk into our facilities believing they have nothing to offer. Through Work Assignments and job training partners, we hope they are not only able to provide for themselves and families, but also empowered to believe they have the capacity fulfill the Lord’s purpose for their lives.