Employed for Change
These are the stories of our employees that have gotten keys to their new homes through the purchase of your Giving Keys.
HI! My name is Nisa Williams and I am 54 years old. Up until February of 2008, I had always worked and I took great pride in the various positions I had come to hold: clerical, security, telemarketing, warehouse, home care, and in between jobs I went into business for myself (Multi –Tasking).
After the passing of my husband, however, I lost my telemarketing position and I was not able to give the proper attention to my two home base positions (the other of which was as an associate). I did everything I could to maintain my life, but as I continued to strive I eventually ended up taking two steps backward. Unfortunately, my economic condition hit a downward spiral.
I was forced to cross over into new territory, bring a new approach to my life, and still believe that God was with me-no matter what. It was a difficult time in my life and I had to make some serious choices, but regardless of my situation, my decision was to survive.
I started making phone calls to help with housing, which was a difficult process because I did not fit into any of the criteria that would qualify me to receive assistance. But I refused to give up. I continued to pray that God would open a doorfor me, believing a breakthrough was on the way. The greatest blessing through it all was in knowing that my children were doing well.
Finally, on June 20th, 2012, I was lucky to get into the Union Mission. Two days later I was accepted into the Wien Gart, which gave me a great opportunity to get a certificate in Customer Service. It was there where I was fortunate to meet Mr. Vester Johnson, who is now my fiancé, and was the person who told me about Chrysalis Employment Agency. I began working for Chrysalis as a sweeper. Then, they assisted me through the employment process at The Giving Keys. From day one, I have been pleased to be working in such a loving and kindhearted environment. It is a great place to work, and I truly love my job! Since my employment at The Giving Keys, I have learned how something as simple as a key can actually change someone’s life; it changed mine.
Today I’m living in my own home, engaged, and looking forward to going back to school to achieve an AA degree.
My name is Mannix Heath. When I was looking for a job, it was very difficult because of my past criminal record. I was struggling financially, and wasn’t able to take care of myself. I kept hearing about this company called Chrysalis Enterprise, but thought it was just another temporary agency. I decided to go anyway and see what they were about. Once there, I went to a few classes where I learned how to conduct myself in an interview; how to write a resume; and how to attain a job. When I completed the classes, I was assigned a case manager that helped me find a job according to my skills.
Luckily, The Giving Keys needed someone to help engrave keys. At first I didn’t know what to expect, but to my surprise they welcomed me with open arms and did not judge me. They told me that I had already paid my debt to society. So I went through the training, and I got the job.
Now that I have a job, I am taking care of my family and myself. I even have a bank account and I’m saving money. The Giving Keys has given me the opportunity to be myself. I’ve never had a job like this, where I feel comfortable and I actually have fun. Thank you The Giving Keys!
I'm Darnell, and it all started out about 4 or 5 years ago when the recession was not as robust as it is now. In my quest for employment, I traveled to a few different states: Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and California. Fortunately, a friend of mine told me about a place called Chrysalis. At first I was kind of apprehensive because I had already been to a few employment agencies, all promising the same. To no avail and frustrated out of my mind, I was still unemployed.
But I had nothing to lose, so eventually I decided to give Chrysalis a shot. This was my doorway to The Giving Keys, and for this I am extremely grateful. Today I have a job with people I love, and I work in an environment that is one of family – highly unusual.
It has been a long journey, but I now consider myself very fortunate to have landed at The Giving Keys doorstep; it has made a huge impact in my life.
Jeff and Norma came to us through our partnership with PATH (People Assisting the Homeless). The two were strangers who met while pounding out keys and ended up falling in love and getting engaged. Over the last few months they individually saved up enough money and moved into their own apartments.
Norma explains, "My name is Norma Cruz and I am a single mother with two sons. Michael is 22 yrs old and wants to be a doctor and Christian is six yrs old with a severe case of autism. I was working full time but due to so many evaluations and needing to take care of my son, I ended up loosing my job and as a conseqauence we became homeless. Eventually I became a resident of PATH. At PATH I was invited to be part of The Giving Key project. I want to thank you Caitlin for the amazing opportunity. It is very hard for me to commit to full-time job due to my son being disabled. I have to be available for him at all times. The Giving Keys saved my life because I was able to engrave keys on my own time and I also was able to save enough to move in into my apartment and pay for our family's important expenses in order to survive. This project has been a tremendous blessing in my life. Also, I met Jeff, the love of my life through working together!"
Jeff shares,"In South Carolina, a lot of things were really hard and my wife ended up cheating on me with my best friend and I went through a rough time. I ended up homeless for a while in Santa Monica. I was referred to PATH which helped me meet all the requirements to get my Section 8 voucher for housing and I accomplished everything faster than usual. The job search was very hectic here in California until I heard of The Giving Keys project at PATH. When I met the Keys team, their motivation inspired me to push harder and to get what I wanted in life. They helped me save money to move into an apartment and also meet my lovely Norma. We ended up falling in love and I just asked her to marry me! The keys brought us together. I want to thank everyone who has helped me excel in my life."