Monday, Nov 13, 2017
I was homeless, and had just lost my job of 12 years, when I entered the SonomaWORKS Initial Job Search program at Goodwill. I was unsure of my future and scared I would not get a job I liked; any job would be okay as long as I could take care of my family. I felt lost, and empty, until I came to Goodwill. I completed the IJS program and was told that I would be going back to Goodwill, to begin another part of the program, the Transitional Work Program (TWP). I was very excited that I would be at Goodwill. I would be around people who had confidence in me, and made me feel I was someone. I meet with the TWP Employment Services Specialist, who made me feel great. I did not have to tell him my story again, he knew what I had went through. I was able to move forward, and not look back. I was excited that I would be moving forward, but I was shocked to learn that I was not there looking for a job... I was looking for a career. I was given a part time job at one of the Goodwill stores. I walked in to the store scared that it would be too hard or I would fail. “The staff that I meet there were great. I was made to feel that I was one of the team. I was so secure and happy there that I did not want to leave. I still don't want to go.
I spent every Thursday in the computer lab looking online, filling out job applications, and working on my resume, getting excellent support. I got so much help and gained so much confidence; they brought out someone in me that I had lost. They showed me that that I had skills and that I could do anything. My whole world open up, I never knew that I could take the skills that I have and take them other places. I have learned that it's ok to feel good about myself no matter what I am going through.
I am still homeless, that is a work in progress … though whatever I go through I know that I will be alright, because I have met a lot of great people here at Goodwill who have given me a second chance on life. It was the best feeling in the world to go to an interview and be over-prepared and feeling that, no matter what the outcome, I did my best. I feel that my Employment Services Specialist knew what I need and did everything to help me achieve it. It was one of the best experiences in my life! I am now off to start my new job as a barista, at the Safeway on 4th street.