I came to Bowling Green a year and a half ago from Springfield, Illinois to help my daughter and grandson while she was enrolled at SKYCTC. I wasn’t planning to stay, but I immediately loved the city and decided to make Bowling Green my home. After a few brief jobs through a temp agency, I got a great job at Country Oven Bakery, but unfortunately I was relieved of my duties after 9 months. I thought I would find a job really quick but that wasn’t the case. So here I am thinking, “I finally had a job I liked, got out of my motel 6 months into my job at Country Oven, but now, 3 months later I am jobless in fear of becoming homeless."
I was scared and felt alone. I began to experience so many emotions from my unemployment. I felt hopeless, angry and felt like giving up. I had never been without a job for this long.
Scraping by and running low on food, my neighbor told me about Hope House. I was going in for a food box, but when I got there I learned about the Jobs for Life program and it just so happened the next class was starting in a few weeks. The staff told me if I didn’t have a job by then to come back by and sign up for the class. I did and it changed my life. I began to encounter relationships with people who cared about me and wanted the best for me. I had never really read the Bible or talked about Bible stories with other people, but Jobs for Life created an environment that allowed me to begin doing both of these things. Jobs for Life taught me how to live, not feel helpless, and helped me learn practical tools for getting a job. My 8 week Jobs for Life journey was so important to me. It gave me purpose and I woke up each day excited, ready and wanting to come to class. I really didn’t have any friends here, but the Jobs for Life volunteers and other students became my family! I didn’t want it to end. It was somewhere I wanted and needed to be.
Right before I graduated I was still looking for work. I learned about Hope House’s community store and how they specifically hired only Jobs for Life graduates. I needed more of this community so to get an opportunity to work at Hope House’s Community Store was a win-win for me. Very soon after my interview I was hired. I started working three weeks ago and love my job. This job is giving me hope and an opportunity to challenge myself. It is a blessing to work and have a job. I am looking forward to beginning the Faith and Finances course next week and learning more about God’s word and how to manage my money.
In closing, right before I graduated Jobs for Life my other daughter was arrested and put in jail. This unfortunate situation put my other grandchild, Brea, in a very difficult place. She is three years old. When this happened, I didn’t know what to do, but run to my Jobs for Life mentor, Dolores Anthony. She already could tell something was wrong before I told her. I knew I had to take care of my granddaughter, but I didn’t know how I was going to support her. The courts gave me temporary custody right before I graduated Jobs for Life. God was watching over me and my granddaughter, because without my relationship with Jobs for Life and my Hope House family I wouldn’t have been in a place physically, financially, or emotionally to take care of my granddaughter. This job at Hope House’s Community Store was given to me by God and is keeping my family together.