Recently, KRA staff members Brittany Brown, Job Developer; Yelva Burley, Job Coach; Shari Cain, Career Agent; Yvette Clark, Lead Job Developer; and Jermietra Carroll, Work Activity Coordinator of the Baltimore City Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program attended the Baltimore Project Homeless Connect event. Organized by the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services, the United Way of Central Maryland, and numerous Baltimore-area service providers and non-profit organizations, the free event was open to all, not just those coping with homelessness.
In addition to participating themselves, KRA/Baltimore staff promoted the event to their jobseeker-customers and encouraged them to attend. They felt it was important for customers to avail themselves of the free advice and services in the areas of employment, health, housing, mental health, substance abuse, etc. One vendor was even providing free haircuts! And, professionals from the Financial, Legal, and Medical communities were on-hand to offer assistance, guidance, and referral service in their respective fields of expertise. KRA staff met with as many businesses, organizations, and service providers as possible, collecting information and materials they felt would benefit the Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) customers served by the Program.
On the event’s success, Clark reported, “Homeless participants were paired with Volunteer Guides to accompany them throughout the event to find the resources they were looking for. It was awesome to see thousands at this event seeking the help they need for themselves and their families. The line of individuals at the Baltimore Convention Center was wrapped around the building! It was also very rewarding to know that many of our KRA customers were able to get auxiliary assistance and services they needed. One customer, who is not homeless, told Ms. Cain she was able to open bank accounts at the event for her children.” Brown added, ““It was a one-stop resource for those in need, and was amazing to see so many volunteers take the time to help out.” Carroll concluded, “The event was wonderful and very encouraging. KRA/Baltimore takes advantage of every opportunity to assist those in our community by working with others who are doing the same!”
*Funded by the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, the Work Participation, Placement, and Support Services Program offers customers receiving TCA public assistance a wide range of work-readiness activities, including comprehensive assessments and unsubsidized Community Work Experience opportunities. To benefit area employers, the Program also provides occupation-specific skills training for the in-demand fields of Healthcare, Information Technology, Tourism & Hospitality, and Early Childhood Development.