Darla, a U.S. Navy veteran who has been homeless and receives support through ABCCM’s Veterans Services of the Carolinas, is currently working at the ABCCM South Crisis Ministry warehouse through Transitional Employment Program (TEP). It’s a position that demands a lot of different skills, from working alongside volunteers to going on donation pickup runs to serving as the face of ABCCM when members of the community drop off donations.
Although she has previous work experience, Darla had typically been working just to make ends meet, without a career goal. Now that she is going to school to prepare for a career in the health and wellness field, Darla knew she needed job that would allow her the time to attend classes. She also needed to be able to take time off to go to the Charles George VA Medical Center for appointments as needed. The employment program has provided that flexibility for her.
“If you haven’t worked in a while, you have a lapse when you go to write out a resume,” Darla says. “This position allows me to work and get something on my resume, and it gives me someone to put down as a reference. I can focus on school because this program allows me to take the time I need to go to do those things. I can also take time off for VA appointments. It helps not just to integrate back into work but also with other issues veterans might have, such as mental, emotional and substance abuse. To be able to work and go to meetings really creates a good opportunity.”
The job also provides a good boost of confidence, especially for veterans like Darla who have struggled with homelessness and seeing a clear future ahead.
“Anytime I’m in a position and do a good job and get recognized for it, it feels good,” she says. “For sure it motivates you to want to do better.”
Darla’s prospects took a huge step forward recently when she received a new-to-her vehicle through Working Wheels (formerly Wheels4Hope Asheville). Our partnership with Working Wheels has helped several Steadfast House residents get into vehicles of their own, which helps along women and children in their transformation from homelessness to self-sustainability. We’re thrilled to have this partnership and excited for Darla!