A white van pulled up outside of a convenience store in Anaheim and several individuals clad in orange piled out. Immediately, Stephanie recognized the logo on the vehicle, which belonged to what she knew as a Los Angeles County-based organization that she had heard of but never visited.
After a brief chat with the crew, she learned that the individuals were employed in Orange County-based transitional jobs by Chrysalis Roads and that Chrysalis had opened a fourth center in Anaheim in the last year. This was pleasant news to Stephanie, who was living in a shelter and trying to find stability after a recent experience in the criminal justice system.
After years of substance dependence and living a life she describes as chaos, Stephanie is in recovery. It was at the end of a 6-month sentence in jail that she learned her youngest daughter had been put up for adoption without her knowledge. The sobering news motivated her to take positive, productive steps forward in her life. “It all stems from my daughter,” she shares, “Wanting to get her back is the reason that I’m on this path now.”
Upon securing a part-time, temporary serving position, Stephanie came to Chrysalis specifically seeking assistance with purchasing a uniform for her new job. She quickly learned that our program had much more to offer.
After sitting down with her Employment Specialist to develop a personalized service plan, Stephanie mapped out two short-term goals: Retain her new part-time job and transition from the shelter where she was living to her own place.
Stephanie confronted our job-readiness program with an unwavering resolve to learn as much as possible. She completed our core classes in one week, including a class focused on helping formerly incarcerated individuals prepare to conduct a successful job search. She also worked one-on-one with a volunteer to prepare for harder questions about her background that may come up during an interview. “It had been so long since I had done a formal interview… learning how to talk to potential employers even though I have this past gave me the motivation to get back on track.”
In addition, Stephanie secured a scholarship to cover the cost of her work uniform, the reinstatement of her Driver License, and her ServSafe Food Handler certification. “Chrysalis helps with a lot more than people think,” she shares.
Stephanie started to look for more job opportunities. During this time, she made regular visits to our resource room to obtain professional attire, hygiene items, and bagged lunches. She also received transportation assistance to and from her part-time job and interviews.
As Stephanie uncovered the array of resources available to her at Chrysalis, her goals began to transform. Powered by her faith in succeeding – and met with an unblocked pathway to resources and support at Chrysalis – Stephanie is in an entirely different place than she was when she first came to us. “I didn’t do it on my own,” she reflects.
Today, Stephanie has two serving positions and is employed as a Community Organizer with an organization focused on improving social and economic conditions in the community. Driven by her goal of becoming a Policy Director and effecting change at the legislative level, she is also a full-time student working to obtain her degree in Political Science.
Stephanie is successfully juggling three jobs and school. She owns her own vehicle, recently secured her own place, and is taking steps to regain custody of her daughter. Jobs empower people to thrive, and Stephanie is proof.
It’s amazing what individuals can do when they are met with clear pathways to success – and we can’t wait to see what ripples of change will continue to fan out through Stephanie and into the community at large.