JEVS Human Services

Making Hope Happen for
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Inside JEVS feature success story


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Inside JEVS feature success story

  1. 1. CLIENT SUCCESS STORY JEVS Human Services Making Hope Happen for Turning the Page from Desperation to Inspiration Gwen SETTING A GOOD EXAMPLE After struggling with drug addiction for 25 years, Gwen Holmes (middle) turned to JEVS Maximizing Participation Project for help getting clean.Today, she enjoys a new life. Gwen is engaged, works full-time, and stands as a role model to her family. PICTURED: Souleymane Fall and Amber Key of JEVS Maximizing Participation Project tanding on the corner after Souleymane Fall, MPP special projects Strictly Business awards and fund-raising S being evicted from her home, supervisor of employment services, was event last October. She is now living in a her possessions in one trash Gwen’s case manager. He said, “Social work is home where she pays full rent, no longer living bag, Gwen Holmes hit rock difficult—it’s frustrating—but Gwen’s story in Section 8 housing. She often visits MPP, bottom. For ten years Gwen made every social worker proud.” MPP inspiring new participants and showing that sold illegal drugs to support her family, and she later became dependent on them. That day on the helped Gwen look for work, and also taught her to recognize the importance of short- it’s possible to change. “ sidewalk she decided to change her life. term goals. Gwen got a “Social work is difficult— job at the Salvation Not knowing where to turn for help, she Army as a teacher’s aide it’s frustrating—but Gwen’s contacted the Pennsylvania Department of and has been drug-free Public Welfare, who referred her to the over a year-and-a-half. story made every social JEVS Maximizing Participation Program (MPP). After assessing Gwen’s needs, MPP This past summer, worker proud.” SOULEYMANE FALL SUPERVISOR OF EMPLOYMENT SERVICES JEVS MAXIMIZING PARTICIPATION PROJECT referred her to Horizon House for help with Horizon House her drug addiction. Brenda Cooper, a offered Gwen an manager at Horizon House, says, “Gwen outreach specialist job for the Spring Garden Her 15-year-old son lives with her and attends never dropped a beat. She was doing this Café. The Café is a welcoming place where the Central High School, where he plays football. for her and her son.” homeless can come in for the night, rest on “My son wants to go to Princeton, Yale, or couches and chairs, get food, watch TV, get a Harvard. How would he do that if his mom is Once she joined the drug and alcohol program, shower, and just talk to someone who cares. doing things she’s not supposed to? He’s she never looked back. After finishing the According to Brenda, Gwen is perfect for the intelligent and wants to do something in life. Horizon House program, employment became job: “When you try to help people, they have the I’m going to do everything I can to make sure her main focus. Gwen’s MPP case coordinator tendency to feel as though ‘you don’t know my son doesn’t have the life I was giving him.” enrolled her in the program’s employment where I’ve been.’ Gwen’s been there.” services where she was assisted with living skills and finding work: “I didn’t want to just sit home Gwen’s perseverance earned her the 2008 For more information and collect a check,” said Gwen. JEVS Inspiration Award, presented at the Maximizing Participation Project / 267.238.3100 INSIDE JEVS PG.6