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More Than Money

September 29, 2010

Having a job is about so much more than just earning an income.  Don’t get me wrong, the money is necessary and critical.  But when I talk to the women at Calvary who have recently gotten a job, I am reminded that employment is about more than money.  It is about building one’s confidence, contributing to something larger than ourselves, and growing as a person as we strive to do our best work.

Sara is a recent graduate of a local training program that provided her with the skills she needs for employment.  With support from her Calvary case manager, she hopes to find a job.  When we talked a couple weeks ago, Sara told me that she’s been on six interviews and is hopeful that one of these will result in full-time work.

When she came into Calvary, Sara had just begun recovery from a substance addiction.  She was horribly depressed that she wasn’t able to care for her young son and struggled to have the confidence to even go to the first class in her training program.  Like so many women who live at Calvary, Sara’s lifetime of abuse and addiction had taken its toll on her body and spirit.

Taking advantage of stable transitional housing and access to resources, women at Calvary are able to gain and maintain employment – a stepping stone to full independence.  This year, 60% of the women in our programs have been employed or engaged in job training or employment services.

I ran into Sara on the street the other day as she was on her way back to Calvary.  She was excited to tell me that one of the jobs came through – she was being hired and would soon be able to afford her own apartment.  Sara pulled a paper out of her bag with information about the next session of the training program she attended.  “I’ve been telling the girls that they need to go to this class,” she told me.  “If they want a good job, this is where it starts.”

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