JFS Perspectives

Monday, August 24, 2020

Christina’s Welfare to Work Success Story



Domestic violence, stalking, custody battles. That was Christina Sharman’s life a year ago. She was trying to raise her young son, find a job, and get off welfare. Unfortunately, due to a difficult relationship with her child’s father and challenging custody exchange schedule, she could not find a job that allowed her to work irregular hours. She was referred to JFS’s Colorado Works Employment Assistance program in September 2019 to help her surmount these challenges.

Christina and Kevin“I really wanted to work and provide the life I wished to give my son, Kevin,” Christina says. “My ex was stalking me and dragging me into the police station and court many times a week, making it nearly impossible to find a job.”

When Christina started the Colorado Works program, a case manager assessed her situation, talked to her about broadening her scope to find the right job, and helped her craft a compelling résumé that highlighted her past experiences and skills. Jaimie Vela-Davis, Family Services program manager says, “Christina expressed excitement when asked to reflect on the many positive attributes she could bring to the workplace. She left class with a new résumé and a heightened sense of confidence.”

Christina previously worked for RTD’s Access-a-Ride program and applied for a job driving buses. “I was nervous that if I got the job, I wouldn’t be able to keep it because of my erratic schedule,” Christina explains. “But my case manager encouraged me to apply and helped me create a plan to approach my son’s father to make accommodations that would allow me to work.”

Christina at her new jobShe got the job in March 2020, eager and ready to start work. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 closures, Christina was laid off and, shortly after, was diagnosed with the illness herself. After self-quarantining and recovering, she jumped right back into job searching. She quickly found a new full-time job in April that she is passionate about.

“After I started the job, I got off welfare, bought health insurance and life insurance, and proudly called my Colorado Works case manager to tell her I no longer needed their services,” says Christina with excitement.

“If I didn’t have JFS’s help, I don’t know where I would be … probably stuck on welfare or working in fast food. The program helped me have more confidence in myself and find the best job that suited me so I can take care of my family. Going through the process was hard. You have to want to make a positive change, but it was worth it and I’m very grateful.”

Please consider making a donation to support our employment services and individuals that have recently found themselves unemployed.

 

META DESCRIPTION: Domestic violence, stalking, custody battles. That was Christina Sharman’s life a year ago. She was trying to raise her young son, find a job, and get off welfare. See how JFS's Colorado Works Employment Assistance program helped her realize this dream.