Volunteers steered couches, chairs, and racks of clothes through the back rooms.
A white-haired man in jeans and a t-shirt gave directions to another worker: “To the right a little!”
Quickly moving his feet on the dusty floor, Seneca Criswell obligingly shifted the end of the heavy, floral print couch to the right as his partner and supervisor backed into the open warehouse-like room.
Moving furniture is just one of the many tasks that Seneca has been preforming in his almost two months as a volunteer at Hope House.
When he started working at Hope House, it was to fulfill community service hours.
Seneca said he soon found himself enjoying the work. “I fell in love with it. I just keep coming back ever since,” he said.
Seneca was introduced to Jobs for Life, an 8 week program that meets twice a week at Hope House.
After joining the class, Seneca didn’t miss a single class, Shirley Kendall, one of his Jobs for Life mentors, said.
“He was real reluctant at first,” Shirley said, “but he has done real well.”
Seneca said he learned how to stay away from conflict at the work place, how to find jobs, and how to be respectful to coworkers and authority.
Most importantly, Seneca said Jobs for Life taught him about God. “He wants us to work. I didn’t know that before I came here,” he said.
He finished his last day of studying the course material this week, but Seneca isn’t done with his journey yet.
Because he was the only student in this class, he will graduate with the next class after he finishes some of the group activities. Additionally, he is currently a part of Faith & Finances classes here at Hope House.
From there, Seneca plans to keep volunteering his time here until he finds a job. He says he would like to find as a tour guide or working with children. Either way Seneca says he hopes to serve other people through his work. “That’s my main goal,” he said, “to help people.”
"You'll learn about your job, about other people, and you'll learn about God."