Voices of Hope – Kory L.

When I was release from jail, I was staying at St. Francis homeless shelter in St. Augustine. I didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to do it. I don’t have an education and my rap sheet isn’t the best, so I knew I needed to do something. But I didn’t just want a job. I wanted a career with room to grow that could provide a stable future.

I had heard about Operation New Hope while I was incarcerated, and knew that their Ready4Work program helps people get back into the workforce. Plus their St. Augustine location is just across the street from the shelter where I was staying, so I figured I would give it a try. I’m so glad I did.

I learned a lot in the Ready4Work program. I learned that if I keep doing the right thing and working hard then everything would fall into place. The people at Operation New Hope helped me get a job at a restaurant in downtown St. Augustine. It was a great job, but since I am in recovery, I was worried that my sobriety would be more challenging in the restaurant setting. So the team at Operation New Hope connected me with Bozard Ford Lincoln, and I was able to put in my two weeks notice at the restaurant and transition to working here.

Working at Bozard is great. It’s a very family oriented business that listens to their employees. I have only been here for 3 or 4 weeks, but I can see myself working here for the next 20 years if I continue to work hard.

My current goals are to continue working on my sobriety and continue to be a law abiding citizen. Starting at the bottom is only your personal journey to the top.

Accepting the opportunity provided by Operation New Hope’s Ready4Work program wasn’t rocket science. I would have been a dummy not to accept the help, and the help has been amazing. A year ago, I was living in a tent eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Now look at me – I’m doing great!

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