Do you look forward to your commute to work in the morning? Geoffrey Jackson does.
After a year of unemployment, this single father, who is raising four kids, looks forward to his trip to work.
“Having a commute means I have a job!”
When Geoffrey lost his job late last year, it was the first time he had been unemployed since getting connected to Community of Hope in 2009.
Geoffrey’s job has always been the source for his family’s livelihood – especially after making the difficult decision seven years ago to take his kids and leave their home, when their mother developed a drinking problem. Escaping the neglect and verbal abuse was the only option after Child Protective Services presented him with an ultimatum: “either you take your kids or we will.”
Choosing the safety of his sons over housing security, Geoffrey and his kids became homeless.
Despite facing homelessness and a long custody battle, Geoffrey never missed a day of work. As the sole provider, “it was important I worked because I was all my sons had now.”
The family of five stayed in a cramped two-bed motel room before coming to Community of Hope. Through case management and housing search support, we helped quickly move the family into a comfortable three-bedroom apartment closer to Geoffrey’s job and find furniture to fill the new space.
“I had my sons with me, a safe home and a job… things were starting to look up for us.”
Geoffrey and his family were stable until 2015 when his job started cutting hours severely – down to just three hours a week. With more than a decade of experience in maintenance, Geoffrey found himself unemployed and he was worried. But Community of Hope was there again to help! He got connected to our employment specialist, LaShaye, and together, the pair updated Geoffrey’s resume, created an email account for him and applied to jobs. In August, Geoffrey received a call for another job that paid five dollars per hour more and was only a fifteen minute bus ride from his home!
However, Geoffrey had one problem: he didn’t know how he was going to pay for his commute the first two weeks, but thanks to our partners at Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects and their Big Green Commute initiative, Community of Hope was able to provide Geoffrey with bus tokens and a SmarTrip card to get to his new job until the first paycheck came.
“Community of Hope has helped me along the way. From losing my home, to finding a home. From losing my job, to finding a job. They care about me and my family.”
In September, when Geoffrey received his first paycheck, he couldn’t help but smile.
“It’s been so long since I held a hard-earned paycheck!”