Jason’s Story

person standing near lake

The first steps into my journey began with insuring my sobriety at the Anchorage Addictions Program. I knew the next step for me to remain sober would be to gain incentive by achieving a meaningful career that could provide me with a livable wage. The answer became clear when I came to know of WICM’s First Steps to Employment Project, pulling individuals out of some of the toughest situation in their life.

The answer became clear when I came to know of WICM’s First Steps to Employment Project, pulling individuals out of some of the toughest situation in their life.

I had desperately longed for the opportunity to go back to school and complete grade 12. Unfortunately the hardships of life and the neighborhoods I had been subjected to had derailed this dream. The staff at WICM helped me come up with a plan of action to achieve my goals and become employment ready. They provided me with an affordable place to stay in the safe and secure apartment building at APOH, that I could call home, The security my new home provided helped keep me away from negative influences. The staff supplied me with guidance, helped me gain access to resources and acted as my advocates.

Just like that the day had finally arrived and not only was I graduating, I was also the valedictorian of my class. The WICM staff were right there to support me and cheer me on throughout my achievement. After graduation I went to Reaching Forward at Essential Skills Manitoba, a 3 month program that helped me identify my strengths and abilities. I was channelled into a job shadowing program that led me to the Marlborough Hotel, in the maintenance department. I loved the staff, overall experience and since then I have been gainfully employed for over 3 years.

Reaching my goal towards meaningful employment has been bittersweet because I know I will have to move out of WICM. The transition is difficult because WICM’s staff has always been a strong support system to me. They are like family and have been there for me whenever I needed them. I will miss them!

This move will be a new experience for me because I’ve never had a place of my own. In the past I have been homeless, living on people’s couches, and even ended up at Salvation Army. This move out of WICM means that for the first time I will be in a place in my life where I will be totally responsible. It is scary but I know that if I keep in contact with the staff at WICM and utilize the tools I have learned to help me, I’ll do fine.