KRA operates the PGWorks Employment and Training Program—for jobseekers applying for TCA/TANF benefits—for the Prince George’s County (PGC) Department of Social Services
The Subject line read: The Hope Given. Melody Daniel, Program Manager, and Candi Rawls, Career Agent, opened their inboxes to find a message from Mark Shepard that began, “I am reaching out concerning the KRA Job Service team…whose interactions with me were patient, kind, understanding, and provided the information I needed to proceed toward achieving my goals.”
Mark, 48, had worked as a Director of Operations/Supervising Chief Engineer until a COVID-19 lay-off. With no income, and UI benefits denied because he had not been on the job long enough, he lost his apartment.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Mark had fallen on hard times. “Raising twin boys, 13, alone from birth, has been very hard. We have been homeless, sleeping in abandoned buildings, at bus stops, in shelters and even under bridges.
Humbling myself to sign up for TCA was hard, [however] I came into the Landover office in March right before the shut-down, and enrolled in the KRA/PGWorks Job-Readiness Academy.”
The Academy is a 30-day commitment; therefore, Mark finished the course online, “connecting with the program through Wi-Fi on my phone.”
On September 14, Mark began coursework to obtain IT A+, Security+, and Networking certifications through a PGC-EARN Maryland grant program.
Currently in temporary housing with his sons, Mark is grateful for “The Hope Given” by the KRA/PGWorks staff: “There are broken people like me out here that need you and your team. Even if I never experience this type of customer service again, I have received enough to make it to where I need to be.”