“I am homeless, with no job, no car or license, no family. I don’t know where to begin.” – Maxine from Reno, NV
In some situations, it can feel like you are standing at the edge of a deep forest – you can’t see a pathway through it or a way out of it.
First of all, you have already begun the journey; by reaching out, you’re gaining access to the resources and advice to start navigating a pathway. You can clear away some of the branches in that forest to move forward. Thank you for starting your journey by contacting Goodwill®.
The first thing you will want to do is prioritize your needs. Start with your most basic needs first. Finding housing or temporary shelter will likely be your first priority. Your local Goodwill office should be able to connect you with local agencies they’ve worked with in the past, and you can also try contacting your local community resource information line.
Next, expand your circle of support. Your circle of support can include helping professionals and other job-seeking peers. For example, if you find housing in a shelter, it is likely that the shelter provides access to caseworkers. A caseworker could help with finding permanent housing and providing referrals to other helpful resources. Find at least one of each (helping professional and peer/friend) and commit to being in contact with them at least 1-2 times a week.
Take advantage of groups that fit your needs or interests, such as a job club, training class or support group. Try to attend at least 1-2 group activities per week. Just the act of talking and connecting with others can bring a sense of hope and relief. Groups can also provide great networking opportunities and a place to practice your communication skills. You can imagine this as sticks and stones being cleared away in front of you, allowing for an easier path through that forest.
Then, work on your transportation options. Ask about resources that could provide bus passes or other forms of transit – allowing you the ability to move further and faster through that forest.
Most importantly, don’t give up. Although you may run in to branches, sticks, and stones along the way, your persistence will pay off and a path eventually becomes clear. I wish you great success in your journey.