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HOW A JOB BECAME A SUPPORT SYSTEM

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Supportive Services can assist a person with reaching their goals.

Original Source: www.paceindy.org

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A life full of chaos. High anxiety. Overworked. No sense of community. No self-care. Substance abuse. This is how Kay describes her past.

Prior to her release from the Marion County jail at age 52, Kay had no idea what she was going to do. Because of her incarceration, she lost her apartment of eight years and everything in it; she was let go from both her full-time and part-time jobs; she no longer had her own transportation. She didn’t know where to go or how to start her transition back into the community, but knew she needed help. That’s when she received a pamphlet about PACE.

When Kay enrolled in services, she remembers hearing how the organization knew what she had been through, and knew what she was about to go through. Feeling a sense of relief and optimism, she returned. During her time here at PACE, Kay attended the Advancing Your Career workshop. Because of this class, she walked away knowing trends in the job market, how to talk about her felony conviction, how to write a resume and cover letter, and how to access job placements with PACE’s preferred employers. As she gained a sense of control over her life, she also enrolled in HSE classes hosted on site thanks to our partnership with the Washington Township School District, attended relapse prevention support group meetings, and began Moral Recognation Therapy, a cognitive-behavioral treatment system that leads to enhanced moral reasoning, better decision making, and more appropriate behavior.

Thanks to PACE, Kay was placed in a job she now loves. In fact, her job placement has been so successful that we invited her to share her story at a recent job retention celebration. This consists of bringing clients together that have remained in their job for a certain number of days (30, 60, 90, etc.) to praise them on their success and reflect on their experiences. To do this, we ask at least one client to give a short speech on their personal journey of entering the workforce. Although Kay described not initially liking her workplace due to the manual labor required of a manufacturing environment, she soon realized she enjoyed the day-to-day stability, the respect she garnered from her supervisors, and the close-knit relationships she developed with her co-workers. In fact, prior to beginning her medical leave for carpel-tunnel surgery, her supervisors personally guaranteed both her and PACE that her position would be waiting for her upon her return. She also excitedly shared that her friends at work had become like family and visited her at home with homemade meals throughout her leave.

To understand the full impact PACE has made on Kay’s life, we will quote her directly:

“I learned how to change my thinking so that I don’t have to struggle anymore. It is okay to put me first and I don’t have to feel guilty. I didn’t know what self-compassion was until coming to PACE. When I think about the difference this organization has made on my life I cry tears of joy. I had to give myself a chance. Utilizing my support system at PACE has been an extraordinary blessing. PACE gave me the tools but I had to be the one to use them. PACE has been my rock since I’ve been out of jail. The staff have been life changers and life savers. Everyone else can want better for me, but I’ve learned that if I don’t want it for myself, it’s not going to work out. You have to want to do better, to want better, and to be better. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Everyone needs help, but you just have to make sure it’s the right help. That’s where PACE comes in.”

Kay is enrolled in our Recovery Support Services and attends both one-on-one counseling and our Relapse Prevention support group regularly to maintain her sobriety and continue her success.

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