Recreational vehicles on Valley roadways do far more than transport a vacationing couple or family these days. They provide all kinds of hope.
With a little retrofitting, they allow pregnant women to see their unborn child, budding musicians to receive private lessons, and more recently, connect homeless individuals with the vital resources they need to secure suitable employment.
St. Joseph the Worker’s Mobile Success Unit has brought a transportable computer lab, job data bank, clothing closet, hygiene supplies and other materials to job seeking clients at shelters for the last 60 days. Specific mobile outreach numbers were not available, but fiscal data shows the need for satellite outreach.
St. Joseph the Worker staff has been offering a growing number of satellite locations — with the mobile unit and, before that, solely via borrowed space — for nearly 18 months. The organization helped 2,458 individuals get back to work, averaging nearly 200 every month during the 2013-14 fiscal year. That far outperforms the 925 jobs clients secured in the previous fiscal year.
It’s a simple outreach that has made a huge impact.
Ryan spent countless hours walking the neighborhood, applying for work at each location he passed. But without transportation — a typical barrier for full-time job-seekers — he was limited in his job search to his immediate area.
When Ryan met with a Job Developer on St. Joseph the Worker’s Mobile Success Unit, he shared how difficult it has been for him to secure employment in his area. The Job Developer reviewed Ryan’s background and experience, his résumé, and his preferred work field.
Ryan was a great candidate for a job opening at one of St. Joseph the Worker’s employer partners located in Ryan’s own neighborhood. To apply, however, he would have to travel to the main office on the other side of the valley.
St. Joseph the Worker gave Ryan a daily bus pass and the contact information for the employer. Moments later, he stepped out of the renovated RV full of excitement. He finally had a solid employment lead in his area and the transportation needed to turn in his application and interview for the position.
[quote_box_right]Satellite locations include every Tue./Thu. at Paz de Cristo in Mesa and select Tuesdays at St. Anne’s Friends of the Needy in Gilbert[/quote_box_right]St. Joseph the Worker helps people like Ryan every day. With 22 satellite locations plus the mobile unit, the agency is on track for continued growth. The organization itself is even hiring. They need a part-time driver for the mobile unit.
The number of satellite locations can easily climb. Some agencies wanted to partner with St. Joseph the Worker in the past, but did not have the space to accommodate a staff person armed with a couple of laptops for job searches. The Mobile Success Unit gives St. Joseph the Worker the ability to “pack up” its office and literally take its show on the road.