Our blog on Tuesday spoke about our Homeless Initiative Program‘s Hospitality Certification Program (HCP) – what it does, who it serves, and the successes the program has seen. Luckily, we were able to hear from Sarah Holland herself to give us a first person look at HCP and give us an inside scoop about the program.
Here is the story about the Hospitality Certification Program through her words…
“Working for the Hospitality Certification Program (HCP) has been the most rewarding experience of my career. HCP not only helps our clients improve their lives; I feel it has helped me improve mine as well! We work with people who have experienced homelessness (some who are homeless even as I write this) and who have disabilities that make it difficult to find and/or keep a job. To be a part of the learning process, to see someone go from being too afraid to make eye contact with another person to speaking voluntarily in front of a large audience, seeing the pride on a person’s face (and sometimes tears, too) who just received a job offer, is inspiring and the ultimate reward. Sometimes this journey takes a few months; sometimes longer; each person comes with different needs and abilities. One individual may simply need supporters to “cheer them on” while another may need individualized attention every step of the way. I think the success stories really speak for themselves – here are two of my favorites:”
“to see someone go from being too afraid to make eye contact with another person to speaking voluntarily in front of a large audience… is INSPIRING and the ultimate reward”
“Joe” had an 8th grade education, was unable to read, and had recently lost his job of almost 30 years.
Having no concept of how to search, apply, and interview for a job or how to interact professionally, he was lost. Understandably, he also had very low self-esteem. After working together for several months, (including winter months where he trudged to job interviews in the snow), and helping link him with additional supports and resources, he gained successful, long-term employment and a new lease on life. He celebrated one year of employment last June and is still loving his job!
“Jane” joined HCP having survived being a victim of domestic violence for nearly 25 years.
She had 2 battery felonies resulting from defending herself against her abuser. She was clinically depressed, suffered from anxiety, and had no self-esteem. Somehow, though, she always managed to keep a positive outlook. After several rejections from employers due to her criminal history, she continued to persevere and obtained a job she now loves! She is nearing her one-year anniversary of employment and we are still amazed by her positive outlook and the transformation she’s made.
Mentioned in Tuesday’s post, government funding for this program has been eliminated nationwide. Here is how you can help Sarah, “Joe”, “Jane”, and the countless others who may gain success in their life through the Hospitality Certification Program:
- Sponsor the HIP team in their 100-Frame Bowling Marathon taking place Wednesday, September 14th!
(they are only a quarter of the way to their goal, and there is less than two weeks until the marathon)
- Share this story with friends! Click any of the links below to share on Facebook, Twitter, or through email!
- Check back in in the coming weeks for more updates on Sarah and HCP!!