When Bryan showed up at United Ministries’ Employment Readiness program in August 2016, he was in the sixth month of the seven-month Miracle Hill Overcomers residential addiction recovery program. What stood out that first day was the simplicity of Bryan’s “life goal” that he was asked to share with the group; he said that in his 35 years of life, he had never acted responsibly, and that needed to change. It was time for him to start acting like an adult for the first time.
Bryan came in with significant barriers to employment, including a lack of transportation and poor work history due to drug addiction. In fact, Bryan had never held a job for more than one year. However, Bryan’s progress in the Overcomers Program and meetings with his Employment Readiness counselor continued to be fueled by his desire to show responsibility for himself and his 16-year-old daughter. After receiving support from his counselor with updating his resume and learning how to present his criminal background to a potential employer, Bryan was able to obtain a full-time warehouse job paying $10.50 per hour. Employment Readiness purchased the tools required for the job, and after Bryan received a few paychecks and created a budget, he opened a matched savings account offered through United Ministries. If Bryan continues to save $25 per week as planned, he will have his $500 matched in five months and be closer to his goal of buying a car.
Because of United Ministries’ individualized approach to counseling, as well as Bryan’s consistent attendance at appointments, Bryan has gone through much self-reflection and discovery. While he openly admitted that at first, he felt the only purpose of the Employment Readiness Program was to help him find a job, Bryan quickly realized that his counselor truly cared about him and his goals. Five months later, Bryan is making choices daily that support his recovery. He has realized that his former manner of dressing was attracting the wrong sort of attention, so he now dresses differently. He serves as a volunteer greeter at his church. He has even taken the initiative to lead a weekly devotional for his transitional housemates. In fact, Bryan’s transitional house and housemates, for which he serves as president, have been recognized and commended by Miracle Hill for their progress and success. In the areas of employment, finances, family and relationships, substance use, and more, Bryan is consistently demonstrating the responsibility that he envisioned attaining that first day of orientation.
Abby Dean, Employment Counselor