Stephen Rebuilds His Life
My name is David, and I have worked as an Employment Support Specialist at Causeway for almost 2 years now.
Working at Causeway is incredibly rewarding because I frequently get to see someone achieving something greater. One of those people is Stephen*, who recently overcame a mountain of hardships and has started rebuilding his life.
Stephen is exceptionally personable; it was hard not to like him when he came in for our first meeting in October 2019. He was extremely qualified in his industry, physically fit, sharp as a tack and had a work ethic. With so much going on for him, it was hard to believe he was having trouble finding a job.
Unfortunately, Stephen spent several years in prison but has always maintained his innocence. After his release, he still didn’t consider himself ‘free’ because he found it almost impossible to find employment with a criminal record.
From the get-go, Stephen wanted to work. He applied for every job in his field and was very successful in his getting interviews. But, as soon as the employer caught wind of his criminal record, they revoked the offer.
At this point, he started feeling helpless. His depression continued to spiral, and his physical health was taking a toll.
Coming to Causeway helped him to keep going. It taught him to remain his own best friend and take care of himself. We ensured he had enough food to eat, provided bus tickets to get to interviews and hand out resumes, clothing when he needed it, and a welcoming environment filled with support.
Causeway was even able to offer him a temporary job delivering food hampers to clients. The five-week program helped him save enough money to put his car back on the road, eliminating another barrier.
I believed in Stephen wholeheartedly. I knew he had a lot to offer and would be an incredible employee to anyone that would give him a chance. I spoke about him fondly to anyone that would listen and partnered with other agencies as needed. Then, it happened. I finally met the owner of a trucking company, which fit right into Stephen’s skill set.
With Stephen’s permission, I approached the owner and explained his legal issues. I didn’t want Stephen to experience another rejection, so I tried to establish a relationship with the owner beforehand. After meeting with Stephen, the owner decided to give him a trial run.
A few days ago, Stephen followed up with the most incredible news: the company had offered him full-time employment! Stephen is over the moon; he can finally start rebuilding his life and experiencing true freedom.
Working as an Employment Support Specialist, I meet a lot of incredibly skilled individuals who are hardworking and determined. Still, people aren’t willing to take a chance on them. To me, “Work Regardless” means we’ll find a way around barriers through innovation, creativity and advocacy so our clients can engage in the community through meaningful work.
*Not his real name