From a Case Manager’s Perspective:

Crystel W.  story begins as a resident at the Star of Hope Women and Family Center.  She was a single mother of two young boys.  I clearly remember the hurdles she and I dealt with as we worked towards preparing her to become employment ready.  She was not from Texas and she had little if any local support.  Crystel said that this often left her feeling very overwhelmed and feeling stuck and unable to move in any direction.  Initially, I spent a lot of time encouraging her to just work on accomplishing one task at a time towards her employment goals because it seemed to overwhelm her to have to consider doing them all.  She took that advice and she began to find her confidence and move in a positive direction with her employment goals.  She was not a person without quality work skills and work history.  She was just having a difficult time under her current homeless situation figuring out how to maneuver through this new phase in her life.

When the Food Bank Work Experience became available I immediately thought about Crystel.  At that time, she was no longer living at the Star of Hope Center.  She had moved in with a family friend who lived in the Woodlands.  If you are familiar with Houston you know that there is quite a distance between the Woodlands and the Houston Food Bank.  Crystel was very receptive and appreciative for this opportunity despite the geographical challenges.  She was a great fit for the company from the onset of the program.  I recall a colleague, Amy, reporting CRR and the Income Now Implementation Group that the first Food Bank class was doing well and “they are in love with Crystel W”.

Since that time, she has become a very well respected and valued, permanent, full time employee of the Houston Food Bank.  I am pleased to say she was the first permanent full time hire from CRR’s Income Now program partnership with the Food Bank.  The Food Bank recently opened a new Call Center and Crystel was hired as a CAP Call Center Lead.  She is now earning $15.00 a hour, full medical, dental and eye benefits, 401K option,  yearly cost of living wage increases,  and says it’s  just a great place to work! 

When I spoke with her last, she said” I have moved into stable housing of my own and my minor children, and I  simply LOVE my job!”  CONGRATULATIONS CRYSTEL…. YOU ARE A CRR, INCOME NOW PROGRAM SUCCESS STORY!

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