The Help Group’s CalWORKs Program continues to work diligently with their clients in 2022. Last year, they had 16 new job starts at companies such as Express Professional Services, AppleOne Staffing, LAUSD, Rite Aid, Lyft, Grub Hub, and Dynamic Nursing. Other participants have successfully started their own businesses or enrolled in full-time schooling. The program’s enhanced approach includes services provided by a multidisciplinary, multi-cultural and multi-linguistic team that consists of clinicians, psychiatrists, employment specialists, and case managers who work together to alleviate mental health barriers and support clients in meeting their employment goals. All services are individualized to meet the unique needs of each client and their family. Services also include the Individualized Placement and Support program, an evidence-based program, which helps participants identify and acquire competitive part-time or full-time jobs of their choice with rapid job-search and placement services. It includes assessment, resume building, enhancing interview skills, assistance with job search, job coaching, and job follow-along supports.
Meet Brigette, a CalWORKs Success Story:
Brigette is a 49-year-old single mother of African-American background. She is raising a child, Nathan, who has Autism. Both, Brigette and Nathan are clients at The Help Group for over 2 years. Upon Brigette’s admission to the CalWorks program, Brigette reported having significant challenges: limited support system, basic needs issues, lack of employment/ mental health barriers to employment, no Driver’s License, no car, issues with her child at school, due to lack of vital services (one-on-one), and overall apathy due to so many barriers to live a happy, fulfilling, productive life. Given so many challenges, Brigette was immediately linked to the IPS and TCM services at The Help Group to help her meet basic needs for her family, first, in order to be able to concentrate on employment needs, later. Brigette’s first job was obtained in the summer of 2021 at the local Dollar Tree store. Even though this job had low pay, limited work hours and no benefits, Brigette took it. It was her first job in America, after she emigrated from Africa.
The Help group offered very intense services to Brigette’s son, advocating for his one-on one service at the school for over 2 years now, attending every IEP meeting at school with Regional center and Educational advocates to secure much needed service for the child at school. In January of 2022, Nathan’s one-on one service was finally approved by his school, and Nathan will finally be able to get more support in his classroom to help him manage his anger outbursts. Brigette’s son has also been linked to Individual therapy, TCM, Psychiatry and even group therapy at The Help Group for kids on the spectrum, which was actually inspired by his very own story of struggle, and therefore, carried his name: RAYS (Re-defining Autistic Youth Socially). After attending for a few months, Nathan had to stop, due to the lack of transportation in order to make it to the group meetings on-time. Brigette dreamed of obtaining a Driver’s license and a car, in order to improve the quality of life for herself and for Nathan, but she did not know where to start to make this dream come true. Brigette obtained support in therapy and was able to address her fears associated with driving. When she was ready, The Help Group offered client resources on driving school lessons, enabling her to pass the driving test. In November of 2021, Brigette passed her driving test, obtained a driving license and bought her first car. In December of 2021, as her transportation issues were no longer present, Brigette was able to pursue a better employment opportunity with higher salary and benefits, while both, meeting her own needs ( becoming a better provider, a happier member of the society) and her child’s needs(having more finances to spend on extra-curricular and outings) for Nathan. The family even went on a short vacation to Africa, where Nathan was able to see his first cousins for the first time and to take a plane for the first time.
Today, Brigette works at the Rite aid, as a cashier, and is valued by her Supervisors and customers for her kind heart, dedicated service and excellent customer care. Brigette continues to work closely with Employment Specialist to obtain a full-time employment. Due to a significant progress, Brigette is heading for a discharge from The Help Group in the next few months upon meeting her goals fully. With the help of skilled Clinicians, Case workers, Employment Specialists, Psychiatrist for her son at The Help Group, all of whom walked extra-miles for families like Brigette’s, she was able to take back control from her circumstances to be able to heal, design her own path, and increase mental and emotional tolerance to handle life in a much more adaptive way. Brigette’s experience is described succinctly in this comment made by her to her therapist in one of the sessions: “I have a team that gave me wings. I consider The Help Group my family! ”
To learn more about CalWorks, please contact Juliana at firstname.lastname@example.org.