When Joseph joined the Employment Readiness Program, he was living at the Greenville Rescue Mission and setting his life on a new path after a struggle with alcohol addiction. He was working as a dishwasher at a local restaurant and managed to complete United Ministries’ four-day employability skills class around his work schedule. He hit the ground running, working towards his long-term goals of purchasing a car and moving into his own apartment.

His progress was threatened a month in, when he relapsed while visiting his hometown. He admitted that he was tempted to give up, but thought of all the folks who believed in him and decided to get back on track. Over the next eight months, Joseph worked faithfully with his counselor and was able to: obtain his Silver WorkKeys® Certification; complete Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program classes and pay off the fines related to his Driver’s License; open a matched savings account through United Ministries to build his emergency savings; cut back on smoking to improve his physical health; attend his son’s wedding while maintaining his sobriety; look into longer term housing options; and obtain a job that paid $2.00 more per hour (and has earned several raises since)!

In February 2017, Joseph attended a financial workshop on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying a Car,” which United Ministries offered in partnership with a local credit union. Three months later, he put that knowledge to use and purchased his own car. As he continues to build his savings and excel at work, he will collaborate with his employment counselor at United Ministries and with partner agencies to work towards the longer-term goal of independent housing.