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Give Hope a Chance

Cedric sat in my chair, waiting patiently for his Mock-Interview. He was well dressed from head to toe, and had the look and speech of someone thoughtful and well educated. It was my second week at the LegUp, and I still had rarely encountered our clients. He smiled the whole interview-this was his final test before the much anticipated graduation- and he knew he was nailing it.

As we went through the interview, I came to learn that Cedric had come into homelessness due to health reasons, and that he had previously worked in finance management, for 20 years. So, how was he homeless? How could that possible happen to a tax-paying community member?

Because life is tumultuous. That’s why.

We so often assume the faces of the homeless are dirty, weathered, and weary- or worse we associate homelessness with mental illness, irresponsibility,  and drug abuse. This is often times, (very often) simply not the case. While there are those out there who are far gone from what we expect and accept as a culture and community, most (85% of the population) are simply experiencing a bump in their life story.  Life is difficult, and sometimes it has unforeseen penalties, obstacles, and trials. The people who seek out the LegUp are folks who are just like the rest of us. They have families. They have pets! They have a need for hope…

Having learned about the trials and catastrophic loss Cedric experienced, and that of each person who has walked through our doors,  I find hope redefined. These brave people are strong: they choose faith when they’ve lost everything, optimism when they’re at rock bottom, and strive boldly forward when life and society seem to be working against them.

Their stories are amazing.

The challenge to you, is to break the oppression of judgement on people’s stories. Give hope a chance, and the next time you see a person who’s experiencing homelessness, don’t give them pity or condemnation. They are simply in a valley of their life. Tomorrow it could be you that they in turn help… Treat the homeless with the same respect you would your grandmother, your boss, or your pastor. By simply looking, you never know a person’s struggle, you never learn their story. I challenge you to face your opinions,  ask questions, and be open to connecting with someone who you do not perceive as “like” yourself.

Find the story, and then find hope.

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August Featured Partnership: Excite Media Group

The LegUp Program is proud to be in partnership with Excite Media Group! They provide video marketing solutions to businesses, and then donate a percentage of the proceeds to the LegUp! #CommunityPartnership further our mission and empower us to make more #IntelligentChange in our #FortWorthCommunity and beyond! We are truly #BetterTogether!

www.excitemediagroup.com

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Attire For Hire!

Its finally feeling a bit more like summer and the LegUp is holding a donation drive! A part of our Life Skills training, taught by, Dr. Mike Haro, is that after attending a week long intensive, our clients have earned 5 vouchers to shop at the LegUp Store! There, they can use their vouchers to shop for interview ready outfits, books, and other necessities. This is where you come in! Now through August 14th, we need you to donate gently used professional items, new toiletries and undergarments, and accessories.

If you’re ready to get involved with the LegUp, we will need volunteers to receive and sort donations!

Its only through your support that we will achieve our mission to prevent and end homelessness through advocacy, support, and friendship.

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Jobs, Jobs Everywhere…

While jobs may abound, for those experiencing homelessness, it’s as though society were saying, “There are plenty of stars in the night sky, why can’t you grab one?” To some it feels alienating, to others it seems impossible, but the most common description we hear is that it feel hopeless.

For this percentage of the population, due to as many unique reasons as there are individuals, finding work may seem remote and inaccessible. A person experiencing homelessness may feel as though the end is too far on the horizon, that they lack the necessary skills, or that they simply do not know where to start.

This is where hope begins!

At the LegUp Program, everyone is met where they are at, with understanding and flexibility. Through The LegUp’s eight week training program, the first step is laying a strong foundation. Client’s attend a week long intensive, requiring daily attendance. It is not easy to commit to this endeavor, but the proof is in the results.

This week, was week two, focusing heavily on individual needs and building friendship, “One-on-One,” training, and continuous coaching. Out of our class, one third has already taken the initiative to seek out jobs. Three individuals have already attained interviews, and one individual has gotten a job. (We are so proud!)

These students, though in the process of getting jobs, still faithfully attend workshops, receiving encouragement and support. They are learning not only how to get in the door, but how to follow through, show initiative, and do their best once they have a job, to ensure that they are prepared to keep it and continue forward on their journey.

This is just one facet of how outreach is happiness, and of how advocacy is powerful. We thank you for your continued support of the LegUp Program, and how it aids in the prevention and ending of homelessness through advocacy, support, and friendship.

 

-The LegUp Staff

 

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