Michael S., 47, had been looking for work for several months.
“My resume was outdated and needed a lot of work and there was time when I didn’t work which created a glaring gap in my resume,” the Army veteran said.
Michael is not alone. In Indiana the unemployment rate for veterans in 2013 was 6.7% and the post 9/11 veterans unemployment rate is 16.9% according to the Bureau Department of Labor.
This is where HVAF stepped in to help.
At HVAF, Employment Specialists like Chasiti Herring are tapping into the job market and connecting vets with work. Michael, who came to HVAF for housing in February 2014, says the organization has helped give him renewed confidence to face the job market – and a chance to get what he wants.
|Michael at HVAF|
Chasiti began an ongoing search to find a good match for Michael and also took him to a job fair which allowed him to get before several prospective employers. She also drove him to several interviews in and around the city. After updating his resume, Michael received calls from 20 employers. He landed two jobs at Employment Specialist Partner and Reserve Network where he works in the packaging department.
“I couldn’t believe I was able to find work again with the help of HVAF,” says Michael.
In January, HVAF hired two additional employment specialists to work with Chasiti.
Employment specialists help veterans overcome barriers that stand between them and a stable, secure life. The emphasis on helping homeless veterans get and retain jobs is enhanced through many linkages and coordination with various veterans’ services programs.
“It’s canvassing the area, looking for new markets, companies that are coming in,” said Chasiti. “Finding work is an important part of building back confidence and pride and sustaining independence.”
Michael’s Case Manager Jerrika Pence has noticed positive changes in him.
“When Michael first arrived at HVAF he was actively seeking a job. Since I’ve known him, he takes his jobs very serious and displays his good work ethic by holding down two jobs for quite some time now. I never hear Mr. Smith complain about anything or ever miss any work,” says Jerrika.
“HVAF’s housing program and its resources such as employment assistance can change your life if you let it,” says Michael. “It changed mine.”
Last year, 140 veterans met with an Employment Specialist at HVAF and 72% of clients successfully obtained employment with the assistance of HVAF’s employment services.