Gaining Confidence and Hope
Steven Jones first met Cari Grahl, Re-Entry Liaison, while he was incarcerated at Parnell Institute located in Jackson, Michigan, during an In-reach meeting. At this meeting, Steven learned about the services that Michigan Works! offered along with housing information and various employers in the community. He stated, “It gave me confidence and hope to rebuild my life.”
On December 28, 2015, Steven met Cari for the second time; they discussed his current situation and barriers. Steven was receiving Food Stamps and was dual enrolled into the Food Assistance Employment and Training Program (FAE&T) along with the Offender Success Program on January 12, 2016. Steven’s barriers were that he needed help in obtaining his birth certificate, work supplies and transportation funds. Steven stated “Cari continue to motivate me and helped me with my barriers by purchasing my work boots, birth certificate and giving me monthly bus passes.”
Michigan Works! ordered his birth certificate online. Once he received his birth certificate, he borrowed money from a friend and obtained his State ID. He was now ready to job search. Steven came to weekly Job Clubs and was provided job leads which he quickly followed up on. Within a few weeks, Steven found employment through a temporary staffing agency. He started working through Phoenix Industrial Services in January of 2016 as a Material Handler, working an average of 40 hours per week at $8.50 per hour. To start employment, he needed work boots and bus passes. Michigan Works! purchased his work boots and provided him with bus passes.
Steven met up with Cari for his review of 360 days of employment. He stated, “Michigan Works! was the root of my success.” After working his required hours through Phoenix Industrial Services, he was hired in at Howard Ternes Packaging Co as a full time employee in September of 2016. He is now trained as a hi-lo driver. He is working 40 hours per week and earns $12.25 per hour. He has health benefits and in a couple of months will be able to invest into a 401(k).
Steven worked hard to be successful. In April of 2016, Steven moved into his first apartment. At the end of August, 2016, he was able to purchase a car. He was so excited to be able to avoid riding the bus from now on.