When Linda and her two sons finally connected with Community Teamwork, they had been homeless and moved among shelters in Boston, Bedford, and Leominster. In Lowell, Linda found a way to turn things around and received the inspiration, motivation, and wrap-around services she needed.
What Linda and her family needed first was permanent housing. Once Community Teamwork was able to get Linda’s family settled in a home, the housing specialist visited Linda regularly to help her adjust. In Community Teamwork-fashion, Linda and her housing specialist had a conversation that led to connecting Linda with a Secure Jobs caseworker. At Community Teamwork’s Resource Center, the caseworker helped Linda identify her own interests and skills that could lead to gainful employment. It was clear that Linda had the education and experience, but she needed the connections, confidence, and direction to make it all work. After their conversation, it was Linda’s choice to apply for a position in the Fuel Assistance department at Community Teamwork. She did and was hired for the job!
Linda’s success story is one of many to have emerged from Community Teamwork’s participation in the Secure Jobs program, a new statewide program to link housing, social service, and workforce development agencies together in an effort to help low-income individuals find and sustain employment. Community Teamwork now has partnerships with five vocational schools and the Lowell Career Center in order to provide high quality education and training opportunities. The combination of stable housing and employment services is proving to be a powerful formula for transforming the lives of people like Linda.
But Community Teamwork does not stop there. They also provide students with office-appropriate attire via their SuitAbility program and administer
a flexible fund that is available for unforeseeable, one-time expenses, like a parking ticket or supplies for work, which might otherwise halt a client’s progress. Finally, Community Teamwork helps their clients to navigate the various government agencies in order to obtain food stamps, childcare vouchers, or other needed resources.
In the end, Linda remembers that it was the human connections at Community Teamwork that made her feel ready to take steps forward in her life. Community Teamwork has been more than influential - Linda now feels “there’s nothing I can’t accomplish.”