A Profile of Ms. Sandra H.
Q. Where are you now?
A. I am employed with Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. I make $35.00 an hour and I am part of a construction team. I am living my dream and it feels great!
Q. Where were you before?
I have come from a broken home, an addictive life style, and living on the streets. I dropped out of school in 9th grade. I was homeless and felt helpless and I did not believe that I had a future.
Q. How did you hear about IMPACT?
A. I was attempting to apply for a program and I heard a speaker talk about the S.O.S. (Support of Self-Sufficiency) program. I knew he was talking just to me. I needed a plan to get myself together. With help from my Family Development Specialist at IMPACT, I was able to create an Individual Service Plan to reduce my barriers to self-sufficiency and pursue my dreams of education, housing, life-skills and having a support system.
Q. What was your dream?
A. I wanted to become a heavy-equipment operator. This would require certification and educational requirements, plus I had to deal with me!
Q. How did IMPACT help?
A. IMPACT placed me in the Re-Entry Program. I was one of the first people to go through this new program. They helped me identify my own self-defeating behaviors and develop a positive support system. Now that I was no longer holding myself back, they supported my transition.
Q. Can you tell us about the transition?
I became a participant in the Support of Self–Sufficiency Program (S.O.S.) in January ’09. By July, I was accepted to the Re-Entry Program. Next I moved on to Workforce Development. I attended classes in Logan, Ohio for Phase I training for my heavy-operator’s equipment license. I was the only African-
American female in my class and I scored 100% on every test that I took. IMPACT helped me recover my driver’s license after 15 years! I received my G.E.D. in August, 2010. IMPACT partnered with the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation (COWIC) to help leverage dollars for me to attend Al-Win Training Inc. IMPACT also paid my union dues. After this registration I was able to become employed by the City. I was partnered with everyone who could help me become successful.
Q. What happened next?
A. I was able to secure a job at an apartment complex and my housing was included with my employment. I was no longer homeless. In 2011 I had a $19-an-hour job driving a fork lift and I should have been happy, but I wasn’t. My Family Development Specialist continued to help me stay focused on my dream. To me, “Support of Self–Sufficiency” means that people don’t give up on you – they empower you. It takes time and effort and help from all kinds of places to reduce your barriers. Now I live my dream every day and I will never wear anything other than my bright pink hard hat. IMPACT made me a survivor!