As a Detox Support Technician at CRI-Help, Inc., Anival is part of a team that maintains a safe, comforting environment and recovery process for the organization’s clients who are rehabilitating from substance use. While the prospect of entering the healthcare industry was daunting at first, Anival’s personal experience with navigating recovery and maintaining sobriety affirmed his chosen career path.

Prior to his current role, Anival felt trapped in a revolving door of justice system involvement and substance use for nearly three decades. “It was very hard… Poverty [in East L.A.] was one thing, but on top of that, the lifestyle out there was very influential.” Despite the examples of gang involvement and drug use that surrounded him, he decided to take steps toward building a different future for himself.

Anival shares, “Most people under my circumstances let the fear of being a felon discourage them to the point that they go back to revolving circles…because they feel like they have no place in society.” His experience with Chrysalis’ job-readiness program helped shift that fear into action…and confidence.

At Chrysalis, Anival was met with the positivity, compassion, resources, and training that he needed to secure employment including resume writing assistance, practice interviews, computer lab access, and transportation to and from interviews. In addition, he was connected to a transitional job with Chrysalis Roads, a division of our employment social enterprise. Over the course of 14 years, he has built a diverse work history in industries ranging from food service to customer service, and administrative work with Chrysalis’ support.

Reflecting on his journey, Anival shares, “I’m just a living example that, if you put in the footwork, you can do it…And Chrysalis is there to back us up. Don’t give up, it’s going to be okay.”

Today, Anival celebrates being steadily employed, sober, and having a car and established credit. He also looks forward to completing his certification to become a Drug and Alcohol Counselor in the near future. In finding his own success, he emphasizes the importance of prioritizing his mental health and setting boundaries, rebuilding relationships with his family and community, and surrounding himself with people who encourage each other and build him up.

“Having a job means saving my life. It gives me the opportunity to give back…I realize that no matter what I’ve done or what I’ve been through, there is a place in society for me and in the workforce.”

Resources and support that were key for Anival include:

  • Resume writing and interview preparation services
  • Access to a computer lab to conduct a job search
  • Education on the Fair Chance Hiring Act and guidance on discussing a background with a potential employer
  • Financial literacy classes
  • A transitional job with Chrysalis Roads