Don: Atlanta Mission Staff Story
Don Wilkinson has been on staff at Atlanta Mission in various roles for the last seven years. He’s worked with our volunteers, he’s been an Advocate, helping clients make progress to end their homelessness, and currently, he works as a Retention Coach in the Atlanta Mission @Work program.
Atlanta Mission @Work is an extension of Atlanta Mission that specializes in workforce development for clients who are ready to take the next step in their journey of ending their homelessness. Clients attend 6 weeks of intensive job training and earn the right to be recommended to employers. Don works to guide and follow each client’s path for the next year, ensuring all graduates are fully established for long-term employment.
“My job is to make sure that they protect their paycheck and keep the job. So, a lot of our concern over the years has been, well, hey, a lot of these folks, they can get a job, but the question is, can they keep a job? So, now we have a buffer and someone to walk alongside them as they make decisions so they can keep their employment.”
Don is able to inspire the @Work clients in a special and personal way because he went through a period of unemployment prior to working at Atlanta Mission.
“It’s so cool to see clients come through the @Work program that I saw sleeping outside The Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children, or who I helped as an Advocate at The Shepherd’s Inn. @Work is the culmination of the Transformation Model, and I get to help the clients on their final step to ending their homelessness.”
Don cares so deeply about the @Work clients and gives his all for them daily. “These folks are coming up here every day knowing that they don’t have a job. And they continually look for a job, they pound the pavement, and it’s just so inspiring.”
We love this quote from a current @Work client: “Don has been so helpful to me. He is patient and has given me the tools I need to succeed.”
We’re grateful for people like Don who give their all every day to our clients.
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