Olivia is a 59 year old Hispanic female whom we first met over a year ago.  She entered the Job Development Program at St. Martin’s looking for work.  She was homeless and her only familial support was a younger brother who had his own family to look after.  She spent most of her adult years in Chicago working a number of jobs from cutting hair, housekeeping, and working in a restaurant.  Her biggest obstacles were that she spoke very little English, she didn’t have a stable place to live, and had not worked in quite some time.  However, she was very persistent on improving her situation.  In the beginning, she would come in regularly and use the services that St. Martin’s has to offer.

St. Martin’s Job Development staff did all the things she needed in order to help her find employment.  She completed a resume, filled out applications, and started looking for work on foot.  She had been staying at Joy Junction. It was difficult finding Olivia employment because of her obstacles.  We were able to place her with a homeowner who needed someone for yardwork and housework at least once per week.  Olivia quickly secured the job and started immediately.  We assisted her with bus passes, clothes, and other basic necessities that she needed in order to be at work each day. Olivia began to earn an income. Olivia started using her free time to take sewing lessons and also began taking English as a Second Language classes at CNM.

Olivia wanted more permanent employment so we focused on local businesses that hire individuals who speak Spanish.  I gave her the names of some of the businesses and she called Blake’s Lotaburger.  Olivia impressed the manager at her interview and was hired right away.  She occasionally stops by in her work uniform and we can see the confidence and feeling of success on her face.  Now that she is working more hours, she has started to focus on housing.  She has completed the coordinated assessment and is just waiting for her name to come up on the list.  This is just the start for Olivia. She continues to use our services when needed.  She has gotten a motel voucher, a bicycle, and assistance completing her renewal forms for her green card.  She always states that St. Martin’s and all the employees are blessed because of all the good we do.  She has shown us all that patience and perseverance definitely pay off in the end!