The path to self-reliance

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A young mother with a child to support, Christina Arthur was having a tough time making ends meet. The economy may be improving but jobs are still hard to find. The Panorama City native came to MEND for help and was able to get food and clothes for her two year old daughter Michelle.  She especially appreciated receiving fresh vegetables and the chance to eat healthy meals!

Participating in MEND’s job training program has made a big impact on her ability to be self-sufficient. Christina volunteered in the Clothing Center, cashiering and accepting donations, and in Client Intake, where she helped new clients access services. On-the-job training sharpened her computer, filing, data entry and Microsoft Office skills.

She found the program enriching and supportive.   “I made a lot of friends,” Christina said.  “If someone was having trouble, we would help each other out.” All of it, she says, was good experience and helped her land a customer service position at Walmart. She’s not alone. Since the program’s inception in July 2013, 173 trainees have found employment.

May 24 was Christina’s first day on the job. Since she lives with her mother, she is lucky to have someone she trusts to watch Michelle during her shifts.  Although newly employed, Christina is confident and already making plans for the future: her goal is to be promoted to supervisor.

“I definitely recommend on-the-job training at MEND,” she says. “The people are friendly. I enjoyed working there and would like to go back and volunteer, on my own time.”

By Volunteer Erin Fink