Skip to the main content.
Donate Need help?
Donate Need help?

4 min read

Employment Training in a Culture of Recovery

Helping our guests put an end to their homelessness is never as simple as just finding them employment. Before being able to land a job, many require assistance with legal issues, recovering lost IDs, or overcoming a poor work history. Some have felony records. Many have troubling addictions and unhealed trauma. UGM's Employment Ready Program (ERP) offers assistance with all of the above*. We connected with a dynamic group of women participating in the program at the UGM Crisis Shelter. Here’s how they described the help they’re receiving.

8B6A8377-sm

Melba: I came to the Crisis Shelter very lost and struggling and feeling dead inside, like I had no hope. I joined the ERP program and love working in the kitchen. Everyone is so encouraging and working hard to make sure I have what I need and giving me tools that I need to be successful. In just a short while, I have so much strength in my spirit, mind and well-being. I love Abuse Recovery (ARMS) class because it has taught me not just things that I did to hurt others, but also how to make better choices for myself and how to have healthy relationships.  I want more people to know about this program because it has done so much for me.

“I want more people to know about this program because it has done so much for me.” - Melba, UGM Employment Ready Program

 

8B6A8365-sm

 

Cynthia: The environment is calm, nurturing and challenging all at the same time. I applied for ERP Program and absolutely love the classes. The work ethic and career building exercises and on-the-job training are helping me toward my future goals. I am the weekend lead in housekeeping and love the opportunities I have here. My favorite class is Search for Significance because of the way it has challenged me to dig deep into my heart and work on myself.

“The work ethic and career building exercises and on-the-job training are helping me toward my future goals.” - Cynthia, UGM Employment Ready Program

8B6A8362-sm

Patricia: I came to UGM after a breakdown that landed me in [psychiatric ward] and years of living on the street, lost in addiction and hopelessness. I came to UGM after being directed here by medical staff, and it has changed my life. The loving environment has nurtured and rebuilt my self confidence. I'm able to open up to people and am in the ERP program, working at the "blue desk," helping other women like myself. I have a close relationship with God, and my favorite class is Boundaries. It has taught me to say no to the bad in my life.

“The loving environment has nurtured and rebuilt my self confidence.” - Patricia, UGM Employment Ready Program 

 

8B6A8387-sm

Angela: I came to the Crisis Shelter beaten down and broken and in so much pain. A homeless shelter was a new low for me, or so I thought. I was expecting a terrible place, but instead found a place of comfort, joy, and a new hope for myself and my future. I am an ERP lead in the kitchen and enjoy the classes so much, especially Search for Significance, which has taught me so much about myself and my self worth. I did not know about Psalm 139 and how it talks about how God formed me in the womb, and I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am learning a healthy view of myself, gaining new tools to make healthy choices and growing in the Lord.

“I am learning a healthy view of myself, gaining new tools to make healthy choices and growing in the Lord.” - Angela, UGM Employment Ready Program

8B6A8371-sm

Kristi: I came to UGM after my husband abandoned me and I ended up in a mental health facility. Upon release, I was referred to the Crisis Shelter. I came here broken and scared. The positive, loving environment has helped me tremendously to regain my self worth. I signed up for the ERP Program, and am a lead in housekeeping, and am able to not just work on myself, but also mentor and train others. I enjoy the classes, but most of all Boundaries because of the healthy tools I am gaining to enable me to make healthy choices in my life. My walk with the Lord has grown so much, and even though life here is sometimes hard, I look forward to each day and have new hope. 

“I'm able to not just work on myself, but also mentor and train others.” - Kristi, UGM Employment Ready Program

 

8B6A8357-sm

Kimberly: I came to the Crisis Shelter in 2018, pregnant and alone. I needed the guidance and stability of theCrisis Shelter and have been in and out several times, not being quite ready for commitment to sober living. But now I am in a completely different place, working toward a meaningful, stable future for myself and my daughter. I am an ERP lead in laundry, training other women and also working on myself. My favorite classes are Genesis and Boundaries because it is giving me the tools I need to make healthy choices, and also working on identifying why I make the choices that I do that are bad for me. I am a much more stable, calm and safe person, also gaining parenting skills through TBRI [Trust-Based Relational Intervention] training. 

“I am...working toward a meaningful, stable future for myself and my daughter.” - Kimberly, UGM Employment Ready Program

8B6A8346-smIn 2021 alone, more than 600 men and women left UGM with jobs. 

Not only did they have jobs and secure housing, they had a safe, supportive community cheering them on toward long-term success. Melba, Cynthia, Patricia, Angela, Kristi and Kimberly have more than growing resumes and job skills; they have a sisterhood that will follow them out into the world. The individuals in our ERP, Resident Volunteer and LIFE Recovery programs enter a culture of holistic recovery from day one and take it with them when they leave. Homelessness may be complex, but there is one thing every person needs: a supportive community. 

Every person who partners with UGM is a part of that community, making real change possible today. 

New call-to-action

*UGM Employment Ready is not an addiction recovery program. For focused help on overcoming addictions, individuals are encouraged to enter UGM LIFE Recovery. 

3 min read

A Pathway to a Better Life: how Brianna and Daisy found hope together

“I took the path that would get me to her as soon as possible.” - Brianna, UGM Women's RecoveryThis season is one that turns our thoughts toward...

Read More

2 min read

Healing from Addiction: Shanena's written testimony

Shanena (pronounced Shane-na) completed UGM Women's LIFE Recovery at the Center for Women and Children in Spring 2022 and recently reached out to...

Read More

5 min read

Valuable and Worthy: Debra’s Journey Toward Holistic Recovery

“For a couple years, I was running the streets. Had lost my job, my kids, my house, everything.”Although 2017 and 2018 were two of the hardest years...

Read More