From Homelessness to Valued Employee; Jeff’s Journey
By: Jensen Bloedorn, Case Management Intern
There’s so much more to Daily Work than I expected. With just my short time being here, I am helping job seekers to study for exams, better manage their financials, or find the right wardrobe for their new job…and this is just the beginning. It is so rewarding and humbling to be a part of someone else’s journey to discover their inner strength.
When Jeff first came to Daily Work he was nearly out of money. He had $100 in his savings account and he was unemployed. Jeff was also homeless for 3.5 years. He lived in his car for three, long Minnesota winters from May 2013 until January 2017.
Jeff’s financial struggles, and ultimately why he became homeless, started when he lost his job at Big Lots. He says that being homeless is a job in itself.
“It’s like a job…and having a job and being homeless is nearly impossible,” Jeff said. “I worked hour to hour and day to day to survive. It was hard to find a place brush my teeth. I showered as often as I could. This was definitely the most terrible time in my life. I am still recovering from this experience."
Jeff’s situation started to improve when a friend of his offered him a room in his house. Having a place to stay was a huge relief, but Jeff still felt a lot of stress about having no income. He was in a state of high anxiety for the future, but he wasn’t sure how to go back to work…or even if he could handle going back to work. About this time, Jeff’s friend told him about Daily Work.
At his friend’s insistence, Jeff started coming to Daily Work and he hasn’t looked back since. He says that Daily Work is helping him be more disciplined and accountable during his job search. He liked it so much, he started coming on a weekly basis. Daily Work was providing him with the motivation and direction he needed to succeed.
Two months later, on September 21, Jeff started a new job as an Audio Visual Technician. He is very excited…and a little anxious… about his new job. “I couldn’t ask for anything better. This is the job I have always wanted,” Jeff said enthusiastically.
Jeff plans to continue to come to Daily Work. He likes having someone to talk to about issues at work or how to talk effectively with his supervisors or to get advice on other work-related things. For example: after his first day, Jeff came to Daily Work distraught and anxious about whether or not he could do the job well enough to keep it. One of Daily Work’s case managers talked with him about his feelings for more than two hours.
“They were very generous and made me feel special. They went above and beyond. I was really distraught that day. They boosted my confidence and helped me be more relaxed. I went from a 10 [in anxiety] to a 7. They helped me see the bigger picture. I can’t praise them enough,” Jeff said.
It is an honor to be a part of Jeff’s journey and with Daily Work. This experience [at Daily Work} is so much more than an internship to me. This is my foot in the door of the career I love. Even as a new intern here, I know this organization goes above and beyond for each and every job seeker that walks through the door.
When it comes to Daily Work, I agree with Jeff’s advice: “I highly recommend Daily Work to anyone who is job searching. They are a great resource and a blessing.”
Update: Jeff started working at Menards in July 2019 and enjoys the team atmosphere, regular hours, and caring management. Regular employment has enabled him to get his own apartment, too! He continues to consult with Daily Work to develop his skills and develop his career.