I came to The Dwelling Place as a homeless woman. I was enrolled in a job-training program through the Partnership for the Homeless. My goal was to develop the computer skills keeping me from getting a job that could support me. Meanwhile, I was receiving welfare benefits to help me with the basic needs of life. When I was called for workfare, I asked if my job-training program could be a substitute because it was impossible to do both. Welfare denied my request and insisted I do the workfare job of cleaning the park instead.
The Dwelling Place and the Partnership for the Homeless made endless phone calls and appeals to welfare. I finally completed my computer training course and was deemed job-ready. With the help of the Partners and the Sisters, I was immediately placed in a position at a law firm.
Within three months I found my own apartment in Queens and became a successful member of the work force in our city.
If I had been without the supportive people in my life, like the Sisters of The Dwelling Place, I would have had to cooperate with a welfare plan that would lead me nowhere – probably even lead me back to being homeless.
*The names and photos of all of the women in these stories have been changed to protect their privacy.
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