Participant Stories

"Good Place; Good Help": Robert Preucel

In September of 2016, Mr. Robert Preucel (name changed) came to the Northwest office to meet with Lead Caseworker Annette Carver. Over the course of the long conversation, Robert explained that he had three goals: first, he wanted to get a better job! While currently employed as a part-time package handler with FedEx, Robert was striving for something more meaningful, and financially sustainable. Second, he wanted to learn more about treating addiction and substance abuse; and third, he wanted to learn basic computer skills. 

Reclaiming Ones' Humanity: Wayne Pointer

Wayne Pointer is a recent STRIVE graduate in the Next Step Program, and was this year's featured participant speaker at last week's Next Step Breakfast! Originally from nearby Lanham, Maryland, Wayne had a solid middle-class childhood, but as a young adult he started using illegal drugs. That decision led him to more addictive drugs, and eventually to selling drugs to support his addiction. After moving out of the area with his girlfriend and having children, Wayne was arrested for selling drugs and sentenced to a year in prison.

Determined to Succeed: Timothy Tyler's Story

Every day, participants walk through the doors of Samaritan Ministry with a goal: achieving and building a better future for themselves and their families. Mr. Timothy Tyler is one of those participants. The oldest of five kids, he spent his childhood in and out of foster care; and his adulthood in and out of the prison system.

Mr. Munn: Bounced Back

After losing his job and a year of being unsuccessful at finding new employment, at 35-year-old Christopher Munn had lost everything, including his home. “I always felt less than my friends and others because I didn’t have a “good” job, paying “good” money” said Mr. Munn.

Timothy Neal: Resilient and Moving Forward

Each participant at Samaritan Ministry (that’s what we call the folks who use our services) has a name and a future, like Mr. Timothy D. Neal.

In June 2005, Mr. Neal came to our Northwest office. Mr. Neal was unemployed and living with a relative. What he wanted was better employment and housing. Almost immediately, he began receiving basic computer training from Computer Mentors and utilizing Samaritan Ministry’s postage address for his mail.

Pursuing Hope, and a New Job: Robert Gaskins

With hopes of gaining skills that would lead to full-time employment, Mr. Robert Gaskins accepted Samaritan Ministry's invitation to join the March 2017 STRIVE job readiness training. However, his hopes ended on the first day. 

Lack of funds was causing Mr. Gaskins issues at home, in his relationships, and with being able to attend the training itself. Mr. Gaskins was so desperate that he had thoughts of committing illegal activities for money. 

Timothy Jones: Confronting the Past to Engage the Future

Timothy Jones, like so many of our participants, came to us with his own unique stories of hardship and success. Mr. Jones is a good example of a man that has truly tried to turn his life around by confronting his past---depression, juvenile detention, incarceration and substance abuse---in order to build his future.

Teresa Batts: By the Grace of God

This is Teresa's testimony given at the 2017 Next Step Breakfast.

My name is Teresa Batts. I lived in Washington DC for over 20 years with employment and a home -- I have an associate's degree in Office Administration and have held down plenty of government jobs and have rented apartments to live in. My dad passed away in 2006 and I moved back to North Carolina to be with my Mom. While there, my aunt became ill and I cared for her until she passed away last June. After her funeral, I returned to DC and stayed with a friend while I looked for a job.

Lewis Turner: Returning to the Sky

In late 2016, Lewis Turner was down on his luck: A recently returned citizen, he was eager to return to his previous career as a flight engineer, where he had excelled for more than fifteen years. Due to his age and incarceration, he was fearful that he would never be employed by an airline again.

Mr. McLean's Back to Work

Congratulations to Calvin McLean on his new employment with Marriott! This Next Step Participant came into the NW office and consistently searched for jobs for more than six months. Working with caseworkers, resume writers and computer mentors, Mr. McLean made it happen.

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