Supported Employment Can Help!
Listed here are stories from individuals who have been helped by the agency
Supported Employment Program. Perhaps something here might help you to decide to give Supported Employment a try.
I want people to know my story because I hope it can help someone else. Before working with supported employment program, I wasnít making it to the end of the month financially. I was also bored staying at home while my daughter was at school. I spent time alone and I think that made me feel even worse about myself. I had been without a job for a few years but I came to a point where I knew something had to change.
I met with my counselor and we discussed supported employment program and met with the supported employment specialist. When meeting her at first I thought she was going to tell me it was going to be hard for her to help me find work. I had recently been charged with a crime. To my surprise she didnít flinch at my criminal past but rather worked with me to explain the circumstances. In doing this process, I became more confident in the things I could offer to an employer.
I remember meeting with my supported employment specialist who talked to me about going to meet with an employer. I told her I was super nervous and didnít think I could do it. My supported employment specialist called the person who was going to interview me to ask if she could be in the room with me. I was shocked that they said yes! I was so happy that I could have my supported employment specialist in the room to explain my limitations to the interviewer. I got the job!
I started the job as a part time dishwasher but now I am working as the cook. In this town if you having experience in cooking you will always have a job. I also love the place I would for I couldnít ask for a better supervisor that works with me around my appointments and daughterís needs.
The best part is how proud my daughter is of me for going to work and having a job. What I would say to anyone thinking about the program is go for it!
Before I started supported employment I was homeless and had little hope for the future. I was very concerned about my recent criminal charges. I didnít know
how to start to get a job. I felt bad that I didnít have a job because I wanted to be part of the working people. However, I didnít know how and I didnít have the resources. Then I heard about Supported Employment through my mental health therapist. I then discussed being interested in learning more about the program.
Supported employment helped me be able to explain my criminal background and helped me recognize my strength. I feel that Supported Employment helped me look at things from a positive perspective because we focused on my strengths. We worked on a resume and interview skills. It took a while to find a job. I went on a lot of interviews and filled out a lot of applications. There were some days that I felt like I was never going to find a job but my supported employment specialist was my biggest cheerleader. The goal of getting a job kept me going.
My job is dishwashing in Tillamook has really helped me feel better about myself. Since going to work I have noticed I am happier because I feel that I am part of society and contributing to the community. Itís what keeps me going knowing that I am being productive.
What I like most about my job is the people I work with and regular customers. It makes me feel like Iím more a part of a team and have created a social network with my coworkers. The second best part of my job is pay day because it allowed me to move into stable housing. I wouldnít have been able to that without being employed.
When thinking about what is next for me, I plan to stay with the job I have and I am planning on getting my license to serve alcohol. My supported employment specialist is going to help me study for the liquor license. My boss recently asked if I would be interested in learning waitressing skills once a week to start out. I am looking forward to learning new skills. My supported employment specialist is going to help me study for the liquor license.
I would want people to know about the supported employment program because I think others could benefit from the program.
- Top of Page -
Sylvie has been involved with supported employment since last winter. After completing her assessment to help decide what kind of work she would like to do and determine what her strengths were, Sylvie was able to identify several employers that matched her employment goals.
She then took great initiative in approaching those employers to apply for openings. She was offered one job, but decided against it because after interviewing, she realized that it would not be a good fit. The Employment specialist encouraged her to follow her heart and not take the job if it wasnít something that she felt good about.
Supported Employment is NOT about getting any job, but a job that fuels your passion.
Consequently, Sylvie took another job that did make her feel good about herself. She was able to overcome days when she felt discouraged or frustrated and to talk to her employer and supported employment specialist about issues that were causing her difficulty and work them out. In the end, it was the physical demands of the job that made it impossible to continue with this placement.
Although she is no longer doing this job, what she got from this experience was a better understanding of what type of work environment she needs to be
successful in. Also, Sylvie now knows what types of support from the
Supported Employment Specialist will help her be more successful in her next job.
When asked what benefits she got from Supported Employment, Sylvie stated that what she needed was the encouragement and confidence building that came from her interactions with her employment specialist.
According to Sylvie, ďI think this (supported employment) is like a bridge. There is therapy where you work on your problems and issues. And work helps connect, or form a bridge, to real life again.Ē
Sylvie has been an inspiration in the supported employment program!
Sylvie began her journey to employment like so many other clients here at Tillamook Family Counseling CenterÖ completing a vocational assessment, determining what her strengths were, and identifying employers that matched her employment goals.
Although Sylvie turned down one job she was offered and ultimately left a position that she didnít find fit her needs, she didnít give up. And the supported employment program continued to help her find what her heartís desire was. Supported Employment is NOT about getting any job, but a job that fuels your passion.
Sylvie stated from the beginning of this process that what she really wanted to do was to drive bus for the transportation department. She checked into what it took to become a driver, proceeded to complete those steps, and even volunteered to drive the Dial A Ride vans. When the people at the transportation department saw what an asset she was to them, she was offered the job of her dreams!
Sylvie loves her job and the support and encouragement she receives from her employers. She no longer has to struggle to get out of bed in the morning because she has a task to do that helps her feel valued. She is able to give back to the community while supporting herself financially and emotionally.
Sylvieís previous experience with supported employment led her to know in her heart what it was that she wanted in the way of a job and gave her the support to follow her dreams even if it meant going through two other jobs till she found the right one.
Sylvie still says, ďI think this (supported employment) is like a bridge. There is therapy where you work on your problems and issues. And work helps connect, or form a bridge, to real life again.Ē
- Top of Page -
Julia was one of the first clients to work with the supported employment program. She came in very discouraged and desperate for a job. She had student loans to pay back, was struggling with relationship issues, and had language barriers because she was from another country.
Julia had many skills, but her lack of self-esteem interfered with her ability to find work. After completing her assessment to help decide what kind of work she would like to do and determine what her strengths were, Julia was able to identify several employers that matched her employment goals. When she was able to begin to see that she did indeed have something to offer an employer, Julia began to feel better about herself.
Once she was able to see how she could be an asset to an employer, Julia was able to find a job working at a local motel as a housekeeper. After a short while there, she had proven herself to the employer and she was given a raise.
Even though housekeeper jobs tend to be seasonal, Juliaís employers valued her so much that they kept her on part time throughout the winter months. She also met another employer while working at her first job that offered her part time work at HER motel.
When Julia came in to be interviewed for this article, she didnít look like the same person. She carried her head high, spoke from her heart, and stated that she felt good about herself and what she was able to contribute to her family. Even though she had many barriers to overcome, Julia didnít give up. She ultimately found the exact job she was searching for.
Great job, Julia!
If you would like more information about Support Employment, just contact us:
Tillamook Family Counseling Center
906 Main Ave.
Tillamook, OR 97141
(503) 842-8201 Ext. 273
- Top of Page -