Referrals make a HUGE impact

Sometimes, we’re not able to offer direct help to participants due to a myriad of reasons – they may not qualify for a program; a program may not be available in their county; funding for a particular program or service may be used up until the next grant cycle; the list goes on. We do however have staff who are incredibly well versed in what other services are available and have the ability to share their knowledge with the families they are working with.

One of our Family Support Specialists, Cheri recently began working with A.J., a single mother of two. During the initial goal-setting meeting at the beginning of the Family-Self Sufficiency Program, A.J. was speaking about wanting to find a job that would bring her a sense of belonging and pride. Cheri asked her what her dream job would be, and without hesitation, A.J. responded; “Being a dental assistant.” Cheri then referred A.J. to Michigan Works to find out if they have a dental assistant program she could attend through Ross Medical Center. A.J. went to MI Works the next business day, found out the program was available, she qualified for a full scholarship, was immediately signed up for classes, and is now attending a certification program to become a dental assistant. A.J. said the thought of actually achieving her dream was “a nice idea… but I’ll never get there.”

A.J. says without Cheri’s guidance; she wouldn’t have had any idea where to turn for help. She graduates in September and she’s very excited at the prospect of “a better future, for sure. I won’t have to struggle, hoping they’ll call me back for a job, or work seasonal jobs anymore.” She already has a place to do her externship – a dental office right across the street from her apartment building!