“Getting to the Furniture Bank meant losing everything”
Jeff is part of the Furniture Bank’s Veteran Employment Program. He grew up in Illinois, just outside of Chicago, and came to Atlanta 16 years ago on a job transfer with a lighting company. Soon after he came to Atlanta, however, he was laid off from his job. Jeff struggled to find steady work, but continued to keep his head up and persist through his daily life.
He went through call centers and different “dead end” jobs until he finally sought help at the Veterans Affairs Office. Through the Community Resource and Referral Center (CRCC) program, he was able to receive the services he felt he needed. This program offers potential home loan assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Once Jeff was put on the waiting list, he was then sent to The Gateway Center and entered the Veterans Transitional Housing Program. The program gave Jeff 90 days to maintain housing and find a stable job, which Jeff felt was unreasonable to achieve in such a short amount of time.
Temp agency after temp agency, Jeff began to lose hope. Sadly, bouncing from dead end job to dead end job didn’t provide the much sought after stability Jeff needed, and it was disheartening. Finally, the United Way referred Jeff to the Furniture Bank’s Veteran Employment Program, a partnership with the United Way of Greater Atlanta, where he became part of the 8-week program for Veterans in which, at the end of eight weeks, they are given the choice to receive their CDL truck driver’s license and/or forklift certification. The veterans also receive additional job counseling and mentoring.
Jeff takes working at the Furniture Bank very seriously and is thankful for the opportunity. He has a helping spirit! Whether it is moving furniture in the warehouse or driving a delivery truck, Jeff is there to lend a helping hand. Jeff loves working in an atmosphere where he makes a difference and is able to show off how hard he can work. He enjoys the support the Furniture Bank staff offers, helping him with whatever is needed. When asked about his favorite part of working at the Furniture Bank he responds, “people.” He loves to see the furniture and the selections “getting better and better every week.”