Chauvin Bailey has been a client of Virginia Cares since November 12, 2015. Mr. Bailey was introduced to the program through a Job Readiness workshop held at Riverside work release facility by Virginia Cares staff Audrey Taylor and Adrian lee out of Petersburg Virginia office.
During the workshop Mr. Bailey express to staff members that he would be coming home in two weeks and had no place to live, Virginia Cares staff members worked diligently to find Mr. Bailey a place to live once he was released from incarceration, because of the contacts staff have made with landlords private and professional, Virginia Cares staff was able to find Mr. Bailey a room to live in once he was released. Mr. Bailey was able to live there for as long as he chose, Virginia Cares continued to follow Mr. Bailey offering him support and any other resources that he would need to become a productive citizen.
Mr. Bailey took advantage of all job Readiness workshops, Support and peer groups determined that he would do better for himself and his community. Mr. Bailey is a full time Amazonian working for Amazon in Dinwiddie Va. He is still a client of Virginia Cares who has now become more independent and continues to strive for excellence.
Mr. Bailey in less than ninety days of being enrolled in the program has obtain his first apartment since being released from incarceration, Virginia Cares was able to help out with the deposit for this apartment, also Virginia Cares reached out to other resources that are available and willing to help Returning Citizens, and he was able to get funding for furniture and money to rent a vehicle to pick up furniture. Mr. Bailey’s fresh new start. Mr. Bailey continues to come to job readiness workshops as well as support group meetings, he has proven to be a very determined hard working young man who wants to take full advantage of his resources. Mr. Bailey has become a perfect example of what can happen if a returning citizen is ready and willing to make change by using their resources and enrolling in our program Virginia Cares.
The staff here at the Petersburg Virginia office are extremely proud to have such a success story such as Mr. Bailey’s it has been an honor to watch someone grow and strive for excellence knowing that your hard work has paid off.
Markus has been in the Cares program since 12/29/2015. He was released from prison less than a year ago. He ended up in the Bristol area and was unfamiliar with the area, employers and resources. When he first arrived, Markus basically had nothing. I helped him with food and clothing and arranged living arraignments with the Salvation Army. We are in the process of trying to acquire his driver’s license back now. During this time I was able to get Markus some bus tokens to be able to get around town and pursue job leads. Markus struggled the first few weeks, but maintained a positive and persistent approach. I conducted several job readiness classes with Markus and helped with his resume. During this time, I referred Markus to local bakery and was able to assist in setting up an interview. Markus landed the job and has been maintaining his employment. He is saving his money and is dedicated to finding an apartment for himself.
Marcus and I have contacted other agencies in regards to trying to assist him financially in this quest. I feel Markus Champs is a great example of what the Cares program and a willing client can accomplish. I look forward to helping Markus achieve his goals. He deserves all the credit in the world. I am just happy to play a small role in this success story.
Prior to Holland’s release, I received an email from Emma Eaton who a Community Reentry Specialist with the Department of Corrections letting me know that Holland was scheduled to be released on 9-29-15 and would benefit from case management services immediately upon his release. Emma had known Holland for over 10 years and had first met Holland while serving as a Counselor at a prison. Emma was always impressed with Holland’s work ethics and positive attitude while incarcerated and wanted to see Holland succeed upon release.
After spending 12 years incarcerated, Holland was released to Montgomery County Virginia after being told he was not able to return to his home state of West Virginia, and he was forced to start his life without the anticipated family support he was counting on.
Once released, he was placed by Radford Probation and Parole in the boarding house in Christiansburg and given instructions to enroll in VA Cares to receive case management services. I first met Holland on October 5, 2015 and was immediately impressed with his willingness to open up and share some of the obstacles he was currently facing. Holland was anxious and nervous about how much things had changed in the 12 years he was gone. He had no family support locally and was afraid of what the future may hold.
Part of the stipulations of payment of rent for the boarding house included 20 hours of community service per month. Based on Holland’s job skills, staff decided that he would be a great addition to the office and Holland started volunteering immediately. Holland painted, cleaned and assisted with other maintenance needs at the Montgomery County office. During his time at the office, he worked closely with the VA Cares staff to make plans for long term needs such as housing and employment. Due to Holland’s excellent work skills, staff made a referral to the Goodwill program in hopes that they would be able to offer a paid internship work experience for Holland to get him started in the workforce. Holland started working at New River Community Action through our partnership with the Goodwill Workforce Innovation and opportunity Act of 1998. This program paid Holland a total of 150 hours to sharpen his work skills so that he would become more employable. Holland did a wonderful job at the Montgomery office and even traveled to the main office in Radford to help out when needed. This internship also allowed Holland to take the money he had earned along with financial assistance from VA Cares and MCEAP and secure his own apartment.
Upon completion of the internship, Holland set out to find full-time employment. Our employment specialist, Nikki, began working with Holland to search for jobs he may be qualified for. She had heard that Bills Used Auto Parts in Christiansburg was in need of help and quickly took Holland to apply. Once Holland’s application was submitted, he was contacted immediately for an interview. Holland started working for Bills Used Auto Parts on January 14, 2016 and is currently still employed at this time.
In a matter of 5 short months, Holland was able to build a strong foundation for himself. He continues to work hard and make plans for his future. At this time, Holland has made plans to pay his fines in full or make payment plans to each county in which he owes money. He has been in contact with WVA to take care of any outstanding debts he may have. He is currently studying to take his DMV knowledge exam and road test to obtain his drivers license. With continued motivation and a positive attitude we expect Holland to do great things in the future!