Ellen and her son walked into Goodwill’s Job Connection office at Turning Points a few weeks ago. She explained that she and her son were homeless and had no family in the local area. She said she had a plan to get a fresh start at life and she left her home in Fort Myers and headed north on her new journey to Tallahassee where her sister was living. Ellen did not know exactly where her sister was because they had lost contact recently, but she felt confident that if she just headed in that direction she would be able to track down her sister again and she and her son would be with family by Christmas.
Unfortunately, Ellen’s car broke down in north Venice but she was able to flag down a Florida highway patrolman who dropped her and her son off at the doorstep of the Salvation Army in Bradenton early the previous morning. The Salvation Army put her and her son up for the night, and then directed them to Turning Points for the additional assistance they knew she would need.
The staff at Turning Point provided shoes for both Ellen and her son because it was very cold that morning and all they had on were flip flops. Then they directed Ellen to the Goodwill Job Connection where Lori, Goodwill’s Career Development Facilitator, took over and enrolled Ellen into the Job Connection program. Together, Lori and Ellen began working on her resume. Lori referred Ellen to Turning Points’ emergency service housing program which could provide Ellen with up to 6 months of rental assistance. This allowed Ellen to get a job and stabilize her family, financially, before she had to begin paying rent. Ellen got an appointment within the hour, was approved for assistance and she and her son were on their way to having their own place to live.
Ellen was then given information on how to obtain child care and received financial assistance to pay for the child care from the Salvation Army. The next day she landed employment with EGS, a local call center.
Now, a single mom who was once stranded and homeless is back on her feet again. Ellen received shelter, child care, and employment-- all in a two day span.
Ellen had a complicated situation and she was glad that she met someone who was willing to step in, marshal all the community’s resources and coordinate services for her. It’s what we do...