For some Family Shelter Service clients, an important part of their journey takes place in the classroom. In 2009, Family Shelter first began offering its Job Club Program, a curriculum designed to help put clients on the road to a safer future through financial independence.
“The Job Club curriculum was written specifically for victims of domestic abuse,” said Family Shelter Service Director of Training Peg Radke. “Not only does it have many of the usual elements, but it includes esteem-building, dealing with anxiety — some of the special barriers our clients experience.
“We also help them learn how to develop a family budget,” Radke said, “and we teach them about savings accounts and investments, as well as the pitfalls of credit cards. They learn how to obtain their credit report and we give them resources for repairing their credit if necessary.”
After taking Family Shelter’s Job Club classes, many clients have found employment. “A client who was in a recent class called me up yesterday and said that she had found a full-time position,” Radke said. “Nearly half of our clients in Job Club find a job within three months of attending.”
Radke also finds that the program is a self-confidence builder. “Clients often say that one of the major benefits of Job Club is to help them recognize in themselves what they are capable of, as well as how not to dwell on the negative.”
As one client aptly put it, “Job Club helped me to understand that I can do it and it has given me a ‘Yes I can’ attitude.”