No matter how hard you work in life, there sometimes will be obstacles that test your strength and faith. I’ve always been a hard worker, so when I became unemployed in 2014, I did the only thing I could think of, work harder. Freelancing in photography, videography and writing became my main source of income but it was barely enough to cover my bills. Around this time, my car was working and abled me to secure the rest of my monthly charges through being a pizza delivery driver. That is, until my car broke down.
I did not have the money to repair the vehicle. Without my car, I was not able to maintain my monthly spending habits and eventually was forced to use my car as my only safe shelter. Since I was living in my car, my freelance work dried up leaving me with no funds for bus fare to find another job. Reaching out to my family was not an option so I went to the local homeless shelter. It was at this shelter that another man informed me of the ReHire Colorado program.
Through the Colorado Department of Human Services, Discover Goodwill manages ReHire Colorado, which is a state-funded, 11-week subsidized employment program. It is designed to provide services to chronically unemployed or underemployed individuals, who might face numerous challenges to employment. This was the perfect fit for me.
I entered the program in September of 2014. I was placed with a community partner which was the Habitat for Humanity ReStore site during the 11-week subsidized employment program. Being a part of this program gave me back my confidence in my ability to be a hard worker. Graciously, my supervisors noticed my work ethic and before the program was over I was offered a part-time paid position directly with ReStore in their warehouse department.
Within a short time, I was able to leave the homeless shelter and entered into a transitional housing program. Within two years, I have been promoted into a management role as Volunteer Coordinator. Many of my day-to-day activities consist of interviewing, tracking hours, and training volunteers in all areas within the ReStore center. Since we are largely staffed by volunteers the pressure is on me to ensure we find the right people and they are trained properly. I also get to utilize my computer, photography, and videography skills by maintaining the local ReStore online presence through updating and maintaining all of our social media pages.
After a long day’s work, it is so fulfilling to be able to arrive at my rented home by way of my new car. Goodwill, thank you! You saved my life.