as told by Erin Brecht, a former outreach worker at JOIN
I met Heather at Jantzen Beach living in a tent with her dog, Bugsy. She had been homeless off and on for most of her life. She had no income but was committed from Day 1 to working hard to reach her housing goals. She mentioned that she used to drive school buses a long time ago and believed she could get a job as a long-haul truck driver. We began studying for the CDL permit exam diligently. We would even meet inside JOIN so that I could quiz her.
After a few failed attempts, she disclosed that the chaos of life on the streets was making it hard for her to think straight or to retain any of the information. With this truck driving goal in mind, we decided to move her into housing with a six-month STRA-funded housing voucher. Having her own space and furniture gave her such a greater sense of peace. Within a month of moving in, she finally passed the truck driving exam and had a boost of confidence I hadn’t seen in her before. She pursued her training through a company that offered her a job! Just goes to show what a difference a stable home makes in a person's life as they try to accomplish their goals.