Participant Success Story: Keith
Keith had been incarcerated for many years. When he was released in 2013 he had $200 to his name and a strong desire never to return to prison. Keith said, “I wanted something better for myself.” After working odd jobs he saved up enough money to get an apartment and his own transportation. He looked for employment and but no one would hire him. After completing a job readiness program and finding himself without a job he learned about Volunteers of America (VOA)’s Crew Based Employment Program. He was excited about the opportunity and continued to pursue it until finally he began working for VOA in October 2015. Keith said, “When someone told me about Volunteers of America I jumped at the chance to get into the program because I love working.” Even during his time on the crew Keith continued to search for employment. On November 9th his efforts paid off and he began his first day of work at Foods Co. in Richmond, California.
In addition to finding employment, Keith had another goal, to give back to his community. Before Thanksgiving he shared with his VOA Workforce Development Specialist a promise he had made. While he was incarcerated he was placed in Administrative Segregation. During that time he had a lot of time to think and he promised God when he got out he would do the following: feed the homeless, run a marathon, never return to prison and to help other less fortunate than he.
A month before Thanksgiving he began purchasing food to feed the homeless. He and his daughter prepared the food. On Thanksgiving Day he and his daughter drove around Oakland passing out food. Together they were able to feed 100 people a complete full course Thanksgiving dinner. He completed one of his promises. The Workforce Development Specialist at VOA that works with Keith said, “because of his commitment and drive; coupled with the goodness in his heart I believe he will go far in life. Crew Based is pulling for him!”