Originally from Las Vegas, Nigel was gainfully employed in a Casino in Las Vegas just one month ago; but when COVID-19 hit, his hours were reduced to the point that he could no longer survive. He relocated to Phoenix hoping for a fresh start and began looking for stable employment. Nigel became an SJW client on 7/28/20 and has been diligent and admirable in his determination to get a job, in the office almost daily, searching for jobs and filling out online applications. He had secured one interview but when he arrived at the employer’s office, no one knew about it, even though he had an email from the employer clearly indicating the date and time of the interview. He came back into SJW, a bit discouraged, but still, he persevered.
Having had his first job at the age of 16, Nigel shared that, through the years, he felt he wasn’t offered jobs because he didn’t interview well – that he couldn’t answer interview questions “correctly.” Ruben helped him with that skill so that he would be more confident in an interview. Nigel also shared that this was not his first time living in homelessness. His previous experience had given him the insight of knowing the importance of having his I-9 documents to more quickly pass the employment E-Verify process. It might seem trivial to the average person, but for those of us working in employment, it is not, and speaks to Nigel’s true readiness and motivation to work. More to his credit, Nigel says he makes sure to learn from every experience in order not to make the same mistake again, especially when it comes to getting a job – something we all should aspire to.
Very quickly, he got another interview, this time with Surge Staffing who asked that he come in the following morning. He got the job! From the time he walked into SJW to when he came into the office with his new-hire paperwork, it had barely been two weeks. Wow! SJW provided Nigel with a bus pass, clothing, shoes and a whole lot of encouragement and reinforcement highlighting the things Nigel was doing right. When he first obtained a bed in the Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS), he was concerned about how he was going to maintain his hygiene, being able to dress professionally so that no one, especially his employer, would know he was homeless. But Ruben assured Nigel that there are many resources at the Campus to help him through until he can secure permanent housing. Nigel’s next step will be to get his Driver’s License in order to expand his employment opportunities going forward, and of course, to work to afford his own housing.
In the space of one month, Nigel moved to a new state from the place that had been his home his whole life, and with SJW’s help, got a job! This is no small feat for anyone, let alone someone with so much stacked against him. What Does a Job Mean to Nigel?
We wish Nigel all the best, and based on the determination and perseverance he displayed while working with us, we are not worried. We will touch base with him in the first weeks of his new job to ensure he is doing well and assess whether there are additional resources SJW may provide him to help him be successful.
Nigel represents a significant demographic for SJW today – those who have recently moved into the Phoenix area, but are homeless and jobless due to hardships experienced wherever they left. They come hoping for better and more opportunities. They come envisioning the chance to have a better life. And though the path is not always smooth, SJW provides that essential connection to both support and opportunity – exactly what they came here to find! We get the people that need them most, jobs that will help them become independent. We get people (re-)employed quickly in real paying jobs, not training programs, putting them back on the road to self-sufficiency and better lives.
Thank you to our supporters and donors for believing in SJW’s mission and knowing the importance of the type of support we provide! Together, we are not only “Transforming Lives through Employment,” we are helping to rebuild Arizona’s economy – one job at a time.