Helping the homeless hone employment skills with bag giveaways
For more than 30 years, Harmony House in Huntington, West Virginia, has worked toward its mission to end homelessness. To do that, it offers critical work-skills training through a Jobs First program. Pen, calendar and bag giveaways are just a few of the many tools they use to help their clients succeed.
A home and so much more
Complex problems require complex solutions, something Harmony House staff knows all too well. That’s why their program provides the homeless population with a place to stay during the day—as well as access to medical and vision care, mental health counseling and more.
“We try to remove barriers and meet people where they’re at, whether it’s a rough time in their life, mental illness or a substance abuse issue,” said Beth Smith. As the Jobs First coordinator, she and the rest of the Jobs First team are focused on helping people find jobs and keep them because they know the key to stable housing is having a stable income.
Operation Vocation and bag giveaways offer a course in Jobs 101
“What our program does is help people find employment, whether they need job coaching, shoes, transportation or help with anything else that could be a barrier,” Smith said. “A lot of our clients have challenges because they’ve never had any kind of guidance. We help them with job search, resumes, mock interviews, anything that will prepare them for employment.”
The program has been very successful, assisting almost 700 people in their employment journey since August 2013.
For its recent event, Operation Vocation, the Jobs First team chose to focus on barriers to keeping a job. “The objective of this event is to do some training in what not to do, what not to wear, conflict resolution, work ethic, and things that most people know but our clients don’t know,” Smith said.
As a recipient of a 4imprint one by one grant, the Jobs First team was able to provide everyone who attended the event with a bag giveaway, complete with hygiene products, pens, and calendars. “We use the calendars to show them how to organize their time better for anything they need to do on the job,” Smith said.
A note from Cheryl:
A pen, calendar or a bag giveaway is just one small part of the process when you’re offering someone a helping hand. And we’re grateful to have been able to play that part through our one by one grant program. For more information, visit onebyone.4imprint.com.