DR: Employment Services

DR, a father struggling with addiction issues, reached out to the Calgary John Howard Society (CJHS) for support with finding employment. He attended an employment services orientation and registered for LEEP training, which he completed successfully. He then attended one-on-one job search support sessions and remained optimistic, carefully researching companies before applying for open positions. He took short term temp jobs while looking for long-term employment, being mindful of his work environment as he continued to work hard to overcome his addictions.

DR applied for a seasonal outside maintenance job at CJHS and was excited to be hired into the role. He worked on a chain link fence replacement at one of the residential locations and enjoyed working with his supervisor and team members, appreciating and contributing to the positive workplace culture. DR was sometimes given the opportunity to be a team lead, and he felt proud seeing the work he completed come together. He was repeatedly called back to work on other jobs with the CJHS team.

DR has maintained contact with his Employment Developer and updated them on his progress. He accepted a temporary acting job in a movie being filmed in Calgary, paid off his traffic fines, and was saving to purchase a car. DR is grateful for the mentoring he received from the staff at CJHS, who believed in his abilities and encouraged him to be the best he could be in the workplace and in his personal life.

DR’s success in finding employment and working towards his personal goals shows the progress he has made with the support of CJHS’s Employment Services team. His story highlights the positive impact that employment support programs can have on individuals facing challenges such as addiction and unemployment.

DR is one of many clients who received help in 2022 from the Employment Services team at CJHS. Here are quotes from a few other clients who were asked what they liked about participating in CJHS Employment Services programs:

  • “It always does my heart good to meet with CJHS staff. I have been doing a lot of self-work but still had a lot of doubts about my actual value but the support and uplifting that everyone here has done has enabled me to believe in myself again.”
  • “I appreciated the positive environment the program staff provide.”
  • “The personal insights from others about me without judgement were very helpful.”
  • “All the people I got to meet, see, and learn from made the program worthwhile for me.”
  • “I am no longer ashamed to have a record, I have learned how to own it.”

The positive effect of employing those with criminal justice involvement extends past the value our learners can bring to employers; it also contributes to the safety of our community in general, as increased employment and community involvement correlates with decreased rates of recidivism. Research has shown a positive correlation between having good, sustainable employment and the avoidance of criminal behaviour.

This is no surprise: employment provides income, the opportunity to become a socially valued member of a community, provides opportunity to develop networks of support, and builds knowledge and self-esteem.”

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