This time last year, our team was in the thick of strategic planning and organizing key initiatives. Then, COVID hit, and as we all know, it has changed basically every element of our lives since.

As we reflect one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re celebrating some of our programs’ accomplishments throughout what has been a challenging year. Over the next 3 weeks, we’re sharing a special blog series profiling the stories, perspectives, challenges, and successes of our programs.

This Week’s Story in Focus: Finding Employment at the Beginning of the Pandemic

This story was written by Karli Banns, one of our ACES Outreach Workers

I started working with a participant at the beginning of the pandemic. At the time, we were still navigating how to manage with the new restrictions, so myself and the participant spoke on the phone quite often and built rapport. All of his past work experience was as a painter, but now he had a lot of barriers towards employment and faced many restrictions. Through the (ACES) program, he participated in our employability soft skills workshops, working on things like communication skills, interview prep, and resume building. 

I reached out to an organization that holds the same views as JHS and they were able to hire our participant as a painter and saw him for his skills and not his past. We then provided him with the appropriate work gear needed for him to take on the job.

The ACES participant was really happy with the job and was doing really well. He was proud to get the job and we were happy to help him.

an individual with short hair is painting with their back to the camera. They are wearing a short sleeve t-shirt, with white and yellow stripes. The painting is blocked by their back, but you can see swipes of black and brown paint.

COVID has made it harder to find jobs for people who were already having a hard time – so it’s important for us to take the time to celebrate the small victories experienced by the people we serve whenever we can. 

I reached out to an organization that holds the same views as JHS and they were able to hire our participant as a painter and saw him for his skills and not his past​.

Karli Banns, ACES Outreach Worker

Want to learn more about how JHS Pacific has navigated the pandemic?

We have written a handful of blogs to date on COVID-19; the unique impacts that the pandemic has had on the people we serve, and how our organization has worked to support people throughout this time.

                Read our COVD-related blogs here 

We’ve also shared updates on new programs that we have developed in response to COVID-19 in our annual report.

Check back on our blog next week for more stories!

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