Dwight had a successful Army career. He served as Sergeant of the Guard in Frankfurt, Germany and was recognized as NCO of the Month for three consecutive months. Dwight left the military and supported his family as an entrepreneur. Then, life happened. His wife of 27 years died of cancer, shortly thereafter his mother died, and while trying to process his grief, Dwight suffered a stroke. Dwight found himself alone and homeless. In early 2018, he was referred to ACSS by Hope Atlanta and the Atlanta Mission.
Dwight participated in CareerWorks and the Veterans Employment Assistance Program in May 2018. While in the program, Dwight was able to purchase tools to re-establish his carpentry repair business. He also found employment with Atlanta VA Medical Center in distribution. Dwight credits ACSS with teaching him how to set goals for himself and how to develop financial discipline. He is learning, day by day, how to think positively about his life and how to surround himself with positive people. He is hopeful about his future.
“ACSS taught me about being prepared. We deny ourselves opportunities when we are not prepared. While at ACSS I was challenged to think about what got me to the point of homelessness and how to move forward to create a different story.”
For seven years, Tony Forman served in the United States Army. He had a fulfilling career, handling specialty cargo in Japan, South Korea, California and Washington. While he enjoyed his work, Tony struggled for decades with a drug problem. In 2006, he came to Atlanta for a new start, but his addiction kept him homeless for almost 8 years. In 2013, Tony finally sought help and began a recovery program at the Gateway Center, who referred him to ACSS.
Tony went through CareerWorks and the Veterans Employment Assistance Program. His professional background helped him obtain a job at the Hyatt Midtown, working in building maintenance. He recently completed an OSHA certification program to become a forklift operator. Tony is now making plans to move into a place of his own and is reconnecting with his four grown children, one of whom followed his footsteps into the military.
Statistics show that nearly one-third of Americans are just one missed paycheck away from homelessness. Just a few years ago, Jacqueline Martin experienced the reality of this troubling figure. After a successful career in government, Jacqueline lost her job during a lay-off. With a lifelong habit of poor financial decisions, Jacqueline quickly lost nearly everything she had. Despite her education and professional experience, Jacqueline’s joblessness quickly turned into homelessness. Desperate to find work, Jacqueline turned to the department of Labor, and was referred to ACSS.
Jacqueline went through ACSS’ CareerWorks program and quickly got back on her feet. Her impressive resume and solid work ethic made finding employment easy, but it was the emphasis on self-sufficiency and responsible decision making that gave Jacqueline confidence that she would never be homeless again. Soon after completing CareerWorks, Jacqueline was employed with the Fulton County Police Department. In addition to finding full-time employment in a field she enjoys, Jacqueline recently obtained her Georgia Center for Information Certification (GCIC) that allows her to work in any law enforcement agency in the state.
Last fall, Glenn Stevenson found himself in a desperate situation. He had lost his job several months prior, and unable to find new employment, Glenn soon lost his home as well. For two months, Glenn lived on the streets and searched for jobs in his hometown of St. Louis, until eventually deciding that he needed to look for opportunities in another city. He connected with a friend in Atlanta and spent the last bit of money he had on a bus ticket, only to be shut out by that friend upon his arrival. Homeless, jobless, and without a single contact in the city, Glenn sought help at a local men’s shelter. It was the job attainment program at The Shepherd’s Inn that connected him to ACSS.
Glenn enrolled in ACSS CareerWorks program at the beginning of 2014. Not only did ACSS give Glenn the tools he needed to be successful in his job search, it connected him to a city in which he had recently felt like a stranger. Glenn attended ACSS annual job fair in February, and was hired by Aramark as a floor tech at Grady Hospital. With two months on the job under his belt, Glenn is now saving money to get a place of his own.