PROGRAM: Wage Subsidy
EMPLOYER: State of New Mexico Human Services Department
CASE MANAGER: Creative Work Solutions
My name is Lawanda Monique Finley and I am a success story. I am a native of Illinois, where I lived my entire life up until March of 2018 when I became the victim of domestic violence that lasted over 2 years. One day, I packed up my car with whatever it could hold and I hit the road! My son and I were on the road for weeks until we found a domestic violence shelter in Albuquerque, New Mexico “The Safe House.”
We finally felt safe and this was the beginning of my successful transition. I was alone in this state, not one family member or friend. I felt like a five-year-old lost in a mall: scared, confused, angry, lonely. I was emotionally, mentally, physically and financially strained but I pushed forward! I sought assistance from the state help get me back on my feet and I was introduced to the wage subsidy program. They helped me use my skills to gain employment!
They not only encouraged me, they worked with me and gave me resources and outlets to cope with my life and all the things that was being thrown at me. I immediately started completing work experience right in the SE HSD office where I showed them every skill I ever learned about working in a professional office setting. It Worked!! I had proven myself eligible and a great candidate for the Clerical Wage Subsidy program, where I would get paid to work full time at minimum wage which was a heck of a lot better than the $342 in TANF benefits monthly. This program put me on the road to success. Although my family is 1700 miles away, the wage subsidy program and its case managers was a form of support for me during such a trying time. Rebuilding my life after such a bad relationship, moving away from family and having to be homeless for months with my son was such a hard task to tackle alone. Every person I encountered in this program helped me stay strong and helped me to not give up.
Although I was given all the tools I still had to work hard and put a real effort into overcoming adversity. While the last year has been so turbulent I’ve stood my ground completing interviews and job searching nonstop. I showed up to work every day on time despite being homeless and having health issues. I worked hard and did my job the best I could and tried to maintain a healthy home. On April 1, 2019, I finally obtained a permanent residence “Home sweet Home” and 2 months later, on June 15, 2019, I was offered a full-time position with the State of New Mexico Human Services Department as an FAA 1.
Not only did I lay a foundation of stability for me and my family I am also building a bridge for a successful career hopefully one I can retire from. I will continue to learn and grow and hopefully continue the path of success. Wage subsidy Works and Work Pays.