Felicia’s Story

Embracing The Future

Three years ago, everything was rocky. I was in a destructive relationship: we fought all the time, neither of us had a job, I was on unemployment, and we started becoming abusive toward each other. On October 22, we got into a bad argument. She was intoxicated, and she ended up biting me on the lip. I had to get nine stitches, and it didn’t even hurt; everything was numb.

That was when I started to change my life, getting rid of things and people that weren’t creating positivity. I had enough money to stay in a hotel for one week. My unemployment was coming to an end, and I prepared myself to enter a shelter. I felt like that was God telling me, if I don’t cut you off, who knows what will happen to you?

I was lucky: on the same night I went to the shelter, I was able to get a 90-day bed, which very rarely happens. Soon after, I started going to a center that helps women get their GED, counseling, and employment assistance. I liked being around positive people and positive women. Soon after, I got into supportive housing and started saving money.

My roommate was going through CHP’s Lobby Services program at the time, and she suggested that I apply. I was hired immediately. I had done really well on the interview and the skills assessment, and they told me that with my nine years of customer service experience, I could bypass the training portion and start immediately.

I didn’t know it was going to be such a great program. Schenelle, my employment counselor, helped me stay on a personal development plan. The staff is so willing to help you. They really want to see you succeed and move forward, both emotionally and financially. They give you all the tools, but you have to put in the work. You have to take a good look at yourself and be willing to change and embrace the future.

Solutions SF offers so many services: you can get your record expunged, start a savings account, receive guidance on resumes and interviews, and secure stabilized housing. You can take the skills learned from a job as a desk clerk job and transform it into other opportunities. When I entered Solutions SF, I had been unemployed for two years, and it didn’t matter that I had nine years of work experience – on my resume I looked unhireable. The program gives you experience and equips you with everything you need to find a full-time job.

After I graduated from the program, I was a desk clerk for a year. I was eventually promoted to Assistant Lobby Supervisor, where I became a supervisor and mentor to the desk clerks going through the Lobby Services program. I stopped using alcohol as an outlet for problems; whenever I need to let go of negative energy, I go to the gym instead. I’ve learned how to take care of myself and make healthy decisions.

This was a good journey, and I’m thankful for every piece of it. I learned so much about myself and I was able to build the life I have today.

 

 

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