Both my mother and I are on Social Security Disability. As with many families, in this economy we needed to increase our income. She is elderly and in a wheelchair, so her opportunities for employment are virtually none. I had been looking for something to supplement our income, but was continually running into barriers due to my physical disabilities of not being able to either stand or sit for periods of time without lying down to relieve the pressure which builds up in my back. I was beginning to feel that my search for employment was hopeless.
A friend of a friend casually recommended that I see if the Department of Rehab would set me up with guidance and resources to obtain employment. Halfheartedly I went down to the office and began the paperwork. Ironically, the person I went in with is still looking for employment, as he didn’t follow the steps they laid out for me. As soon as my paperwork was approved, I was referred to the Dreamcatchers program. I met with Ms. Diane Wilson and did all the homework forms she requested of me. At times I thought it was a lot of busy work, just to be rejected once again. In our discussions of my aspirations, former work experience, and employable skills, we came up with some options. We decided to pursue the option of becoming employed to provide the care that my mother requires to remain in our home, through In Home Social Services.
Ms. Diane guided me through the steps to fulfill the employment requirements, checking with me all along the way and offering her support and resources. Within three months, I was approved as a caregiver for my mother and I now get paid for caring for her. I never would have pursued that avenue of employment without the direction and encouragement of Ms. Diane. Her faith in me gave me the confidence to apply and persevere through all the required paperwork and meetings to obtain the income which has benefited our lives tremendously.
I am grateful to the Dreamcatchers program, and particularly Ms. Diane, for providing me with the support I needed to get past the barriers that I was being stopped by previously. I had to do the “heavy lifting” of filling out the paperwork, making the required meetings, securing the security clearance – but she was always right there checking to see that things were progressing and offering suggestions to speed up the process as they were needed. I probably would have gotten discouraged and given up once again, if she hadn’t been in my corner and invested in my success.
I want to thank Ms. Diane for all her support and encouragement along the way.