In 2013 when Precious found Housing Hope she was 9 months pregnant and homeless. She found Housing Hope through a referral to help her, her boyfriend and her soon to be born daughter to get off the streets. Her daughter was born a week after getting housing.
While at Housing Hope Precious was set up to interview with Callie at ReNewWorks and started her internship the following week.
“I hadn’t worked in 10 years when I came to ReNewWorks, having been on disability. I knew it was a good opportunity.” Precious said she was motivated by her young daughter to get back to work. “I want her to know that no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to straighten up.” Precious said she learned a lot during her internship here at ReNewWorks. Besides learning about computers, furniture, and photography, she also learned she had a voice and can talk, and that she made friends here. “I also learned there are no stupid questions and to always ask for help if you need it.” Precious got a job working at Staples at the end of her internship where she is currently working.
7 months ago Sergey was living on the streets. He faced a variety of barriers which prevented him from finding work. He connected with an Employment Specialist who recommended the GroundWorks Internship Program as a way to reenter the workforce.
Sergey said he learned a lot during his internship here at GroundWorks. “GroundWorks is awesome. It helped me out in just three months when I needed it….I learned a lot, the team is awesome.”
Now that Sergey’s internship has ended he is going back to school to learn to read and write. After that he plans to find work; “I like working. Doesn’t matter what job it is, I will do it”.
On January 17th, 2014 Michael regained consciousness in the middle of the street. He couldn’t remember how he got there and was weighed down by a feeling of heaviness that wouldn’t let him up. Eventually, a friendly police officer helped him off the ground and told him he was bleeding heavily from the head. Michael looked down into the palm of his hand, saw his blood mixing in with the rain coming down, and realized at that moment he was done with that life. He found shelter at the Everett Gospel Mission and connected with an employment specialist at Housing Hope who recommended GroundWorks as a path to reenter the workforce. Abused as a child and abandoned at an orphanage at the age of 9, Michael had been living on the streets since the age of 19. Today Michael has a place of his own for the first time in his life. “I have a freedom today…I am so glad that I don’t have to survive like that anymore. GroundWorks is a great opportunity for anybody that wants to turn their life around.” When Michael’s internship ended he was hired on as part of the crew at GroundWorks and now is a full-time employee.
In July 2014 O'Rian was a single father of a 9 year-old daughter and didn't have a job in six months. He was introduced to an employment specialist for Housing Hope who put him into the Housing Hope life skills classes. From there O’Rian interviewed for an internship at GroundWorks Landscaping and started shortly afterwards. “I wanted to prove myself and work hard,” O’Rian said about his internship with GroundWorks. When O’Rian’s internship ended he was hired on as part of the crew at GroundWorks and now is a full-time employee. O’Rian said he is excited because he really likes the people he works with, Housing Hope and HopeWorks, and what the agencies stand for. He also said it is the first time he has had a job with benefits and paid sick time. He is now off DSHS support and taking care of his daughter all by himself. “My daughter sees me in a whole new light,” he said. “I wanted a hand up, not a hand out, and that is what I got here.”