Jeffrey’s Story

Jeffrey’s Story

After years of battling substance abuse and having spent two terms in prison, 43-year old Jeffrey is someone his old friends might not recognize today. Celebrating recovery since 2017, he is an inspiring picture of a man who has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He’s done the work and continues to work hard every single day to earn the life he now has. Now working as a truck driver and in a warehouse for an appliance company, Jeffrey is both grateful and incredulous. Still on a journey that has taken Jeffrey from prison, to recovery, to helping others like him, to a career in the trades, Jeffrey is a sterling example of an SJW client who has successfully rebuilt his life to be healthy and economically self-sufficient.

I have a good paying job, a ‘big boy job’ with benefits. I pay taxes. I have a 401k. I am a High School dropout. I’ve been in prison twice. So, to be insurable and be DOT certified to drive a delivery truck is a big deal. I love my job!!​
Jeffrey
Appliance Installer

Both Jeffrey’s personal and professional lives revolve around his recovery. Upon first getting sober, he went straight to a placed called ‘The Solution’ from CBI (Community Bridges), and at that time he didn’t even care about getting sober. According to Jeffrey, he actually wanted to die. One night he was sitting outside and looking at the moon and that bright star right next to it, and he prayed, “God, if this is where you want me to be, I’ll stay.” Immediately, it was like a weight was lifted off his shoulders. He felt at peace. He stayed at ‘The Solution,’ got a sponsor, worked the steps, got another sponsor, went through the steps again, and he is still sober today. He lives recovery.

Happy to speak on behalf of St. Joseph the Worker, he says,

Daren (SJW Lead Outreach Specialist) and SJW have gone above and beyond, over and over again, and not just for me, but for many of my friends
Jeffrey
Appliance Installer

 Having moved to Phoenix almost three years ago, Jeffrey encountered SJW at the half-way house where he was living. Daren used to drop off job applications for the tenants that couldn’t go outside to look for work. Jeffrey’s house manager told him that Daren would work with him and his housemates, providing job leads and helping get them get hired at places that were felon-friendly. Early on in Jeffrey’s recovery, Daren gave him a bus pass and job leads.

Moving newly into the trades for greater financial stability, he contacted Daren once again, needing work boots and tools. Daren and SJW responded and Jeffrey was set up once again to be successful in his job. Then, in March of this year, COVID hit and he was out of work for four months and collecting unemployment. But before his benefits ran out, he began looking for a new job found a one that paid $16/hour with full benefits after 30 days. “The company wanted me to be an appliance installer. I had some experience but not a lot. I love learning new stuff; but I needed the right tools. I thought of Daren. I called him and told him that I was going to be with this company for a long time.

Daren met me at Home Depot. I got all the tools on my list and a few special tools that I knew other installers had. He gave me a $100 Walmart card to get work clothes and two QuikTrip gas cards to help me with transportation costs while I got going...it really impressed my boss coming in with all of my tools, and even some of the special stuff I’d need for high end installs.
Jeffrey
Appliance Installer

Wise Words from Jeffrey

Jeffrey has run the full gamut of SJW experiences. Having experienced a suit outfitting at our Tailor Made for Success facility where we not only outfit men for interviews and professional jobs, we use the experience to build their confidence and help them look at themselves in a different way.

It was spiritual experience looking at myself in the mirror. My sponsor asked me what I need a suit for. I said ‘I am preparing for greatness.
Jeffrey
Appliance Installer

What does Jeffrey share with others about his experience with SJW?

When I talk about SJW, I say you help addicts and alcoholics, that you help homeless people, that you have actual company contacts not just an Indeed listing, and that you actually talk to people who will hire us
Jeffrey
Appliance Installer

What encouragement does Jeffrey have to offer others who are struggling like he once did? He says, “Self-doubt stopped me from applying for a lot of jobs. Now I say, ‘just apply!’ Let them tell you ‘no.’ Don’t let the fear stop you. I’ve taken on the identify that society put on me. But you have something to contribute to the community, to society, to a company. Do it ‘afraid.’ Do it ‘doubtful.’ Just do it, and let them tell you ‘no,’” and then adds, “even in prison, you were working. Those are marketable job skills. A felon might have to fill out a thousand applications, but there is work for you.”  Wise words from a wise man

Self-doubt stopped me from applying for a lot of jobs. Now I say, ‘just apply!’ Let them tell you ‘no.’ Don’t let the fear stop you. I’ve taken on the identify that society put on me. But you have something to contribute to the community, to society, to a company. Do it ‘afraid.’ Do it ‘doubtful.’ Just do it, and let them tell you ‘no,'... A felon might have to fill out a thousand applications, but there is work for you.”
Jeffrey
Appliance Installer

Wise words from a wise man. Congratulations, Jeffrey!

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