Moving Forward

When Vanessa* came to Hope Works, she knew she needed to return to work but did not know where to begin. Vanessa had undergone several major surgeries which required her to stop working for 7 years. She made an appointment and quickly developed a relationship with her community advocate. Together they applied for jobs that would allow her to support herself and save for her daughter's college tuition. However, after working enthusiastically to apply for several jobs, she was told by her doctor that she was not cleared to work due to health concerns.

This was disappointing news both for Vanessa and for Hope Works. Vanessa had a couple thousand dollars of credit card debt and without a source of income, it would be impossible for her to assist her daughter in paying for college. Although Vanessa was no longer able to look for a job, Hope Works continued to help her find stability. First, Hope Works put Vanessa in touch with the Center for Economic Progress to help her work through her debt. As a result of meeting with CEP, Vanessa became much more confident about her financial situation and was able to start planning for the future.

As they worked together, Vanessa began to share more with her community advocate about her past. After opening up about some of the hardship she had endured, Vanessa and her community advocate decided that it would be good for her to attend therapy. Hope Works was able to refer Vanessa to a counselor, who is continuing to help her deal with her past in a way that's healthy and empowering.

Hope Works was also able to help Vanessa find college fairs and resources for her daughter. Vanessa continues to come in to Hope Works to register for college fairs and seek information about scholarships and test prep programs. Hope Works strives to promote the growth of our clients by offering diverse resources that will contribute to long term stability. We are optimistic that Vanessa will be cleared to work soon and that she will have all of the tools she needs to thrive in her work environment when that day comes.

*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of our client

Charmanda's Story

Charmanda wanted to work as a real estate agent since she was 19 years old. When she came to Hope Works, she had done exactly that for nearly a decade. She enjoyed it because the hours were flexible, and that their was never a dull moment on the job. Whether she was getting to show new properties, or getting to meet exciting clientele, no two days were the same.

Unfortunately, Charmanda was not getting many calls at her real estate brokerage. Since she was paid by commission, she was not making enough to support herself and her children. She quickly started seeking new opportunities, but was having trouble getting interviews. She began to worry that her resume was not as good as it could be. When her neighbor across the street recommended Hope Works for our resume services, she decided to set up an appointment with one of our case managers.

Though she wanted to find another job in real estate, Charmanda decided to expand her options and worked with one of our community advocates, Kimi, to make two resumes: one for real estate, and one for everything else. Before too long, Charmanda began to notice that people were viewing the applications she submitted. After being contacted for more and more interviews, Charmanda was offered a job with a real estate brokerage.

The new position gives Charmanda not only a job, but a career - the career she has wanted since she was 19! She is able to support herself, and is excited to become an even better realtor. Because of the flexible hours, she is able to drive her kids to and from school! Charmanda was also offered a seasonal position working in a warehouse, which she plans to accept for a consistent source of supplementary income.

Like most Hope Works clients, Charmanda already brought a great deal of experience to the table. All it took for Charmanda to get her dream job was to help her advertise the experience she already had.