A team of career professionals band together to assist residents as they work to reenter the workforce
For some Front Porch residents, reentering the workplace can be a daunting step, especially if incarceration or legal charges have been a part of their story. Guidance in resume building and interview prep can be a crucial step in not just navigating the career realm, but also helping residents regain confidence, a skillset several Grace members realized they were uniquely qualified to assist with.
In the spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began leaving people without work, Downtown campus member Stephen Middleton felt concerned about those in the Grace Church body who were experiencing the negative economic effects of the pandemic. With a long background in human resources, Stephen felt like he might be able to help people find work, and he reached out to Lee Anne Cavin.
Meanwhile Elliot Figueroa, at the Pelham campus, was inspired by the community care and life-changing work happening in the Jump Start and Jasmine Road ministries. As a former CPA, now headhunter, he knew he wanted to help people coming out of difficult circumstances to get back in the workplace. Elliot also reached out to Lee Ann, and soon a task force was created with multiple volunteers and a list of people in need of career assistance.
- “We meet with them one-on-one, talk about their career goals, and try to tailor resumes towards that,” Elliot says. “We do interview prep and then we practice with them. It’s about making sure they feel confident enough to speak, so they can talk about their stories without shame. It’s all about bringing people back to respect.”
Along with helping residents build resumes, Stephen has been able to provide career connections at times, which for one resident, led to a full-time job. When he considers the help the volunteer taskforce has provided, he sees it as a simple way the community can come together and serve one another.
For those interested in volunteering for Front Porch Housing, or other serving opportunities, Elliot sees it as an opportunity to obediently steward our God-given skills and gifts. “For people that want to get involved, it’s just following what the gospel is all about. If we are willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we are walking the gospel. What a better presentation of what we believe than to help those in need? Why are we not doing more?”
For more information on Front Porch Housing, and how you can take part, visit FrontPorchHousing.com