Working an unpredictable stream of odd jobs in merchandising for the entertainment industry, John was often on the road. He traveled to sporting events, concerts — any venue where he saw an opportunity to make money. But when he received sole custody of his young son DJ after his divorce, he realized he couldn’t maintain that irregular schedule. Unemployed and on the verge of homelessness, he found Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, AZ.
“I was in trouble,” says John of that period in his life. “I had no money, no car, no job. I’d never been homeless. Family Promise showed me what to do, one step at a time.”
Once the family was settled in Family Promise’s emergency shelter system, John began working with his case manager to rebuild his world.
Through Family Promise’s workforce development program, he created a resumé, initiated his first-ever job search, and was soon hired in concessions at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ baseball park. He showed up for his first day prepared to work the cash register, only to learn he’d been hired as a manager!
Family Promise also helped John navigate the process of finding housing, and he and DJ now have their own apartment, another first.
Reflecting on how homelessness affected his son, John recalls the stability Family Promise provided during a time of upheaval. DJ thought he’d have to switch schools since the shelter sites weren’t located within his school district, but Family Promise ensured he received bussing to remain at his school.
And there was another surprise for DJ: Visiting his father at work one day, he pitched in when staff was short and was hired on the spot as a trainee with the promise of a job once he reaches employment age. Before long, the pair will be working side by side!
“Family Promise made a difference for me,” says Johns, “and I hope sharing my story helps someone else.”