Here at Gateway Center we are all about community collaboration to reduce the amount of hoops a person has to jump through to end their homelessness and get back to a state of self-sufficiency. One of the ways we do this is by having partner agencies take office on our site so as to reduce the burden of traveling from one location to another when seeking services, especially when funds for transportation are tough to come by.
One of the spaces in our building is occupied by the Georgia Department of Labor. They offer services that connect people with jobs, assisting in online application processes, and offering feedback on resumes and interviews. There’s a constant stream of people coming through Gateway Center every day looking for opportunities to get back on their feet with employment, and the DOL is at the center of this process. Below is a little write-up made by the gentleman who assists these men and women each day in that 3rd floor office. His name is Cornell Johnson, and he is the Services Specialists for the Department of Labor at Gateway Center.
A client started visiting the Gateway DOL Career Center conducting job searches, probably seven or eight months ago. Some days he could barely keep his head up or his eyes open. One day he pulled off his shoes and socks, and I reminded him that he had to keep his shoes on. He became a bit agitated but complied.
A few weeks passed, and I noticed he stopped coming by.
He began to visit again regularly and continued to complete online applications and submit his resume. One day I printed some job leads and placed them on the table. I encouraged him to browse them. He took one (food service $11+/hr.) listed with a local health care provider and completed the online application. Shortly after submitting the application he informed me that he had been contacted by the employer’s HR for an interview. He interviewed and was offered the job.
However, he expressed doubts. Due to his circumstances, life’s challenges, and feeling beaten down by the difficulties in his life I could appreciate his apprehensions. I encouraged him to think positive and savor his reward for his efforts.
He continued to come by and complete the employer’s online process (orientation, W-4, work schedule, payroll information, etc.) prior to his start date. While I provided him computer assistance he shared with me that the reason he stopped visiting the career center for several weeks was because he was hospitalized for gangrene and had three toes amputated. This explained the need to remove his shoes.
Without stretching this story out any further: his start day is today.
As an update to this story: the client was using the services of the DOL as a non-resident of Gateway. However, with the health issues at hand, the client has decided to seek stabilization. As of today, we are working together to get him into the right program so that he will be able to work steadily with the security of a place to stay each night. This is why we do our job!