Finding a reason to THRIVE in Tukwila

Two years ago, Kent resident Kelly Cockrell was down but not out. While she had survived a drug overdose that nearly killed her and had started on the path to lasting sobriety, she was on the verge of homelessness and lacked the skills to compete in the current job market.

Two years ago, Kent resident Kelly Cockrell was down but not out. While she had survived a drug overdose that nearly killed her and had started on the path to lasting sobriety, she was on the verge of homelessness and lacked the skills to compete in the current job market.

She turned to Multi-Service Center’s THRIVE program for help. THRIVE, which stands for Transforming Homelessness and Reestablishing Independence Via Employment, prepares homeless individuals for re-entry into the workforce through job skills training, intensive job search skills and support and paid internships in local businesses.

While in the program participants also can access Multi-Service Center’s other resources such as case management, help to find housing, educational support and tutors, financial management, food, clothing and more.

There is no cost to those like Cockrell participating in the program and no cost to the employers who hire the participants.

After a year’s hiatus, Multi-Service Center recently revived the THRIVE program, thanks to grant funding from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and United Way of King County. THRIVE can now help up to 45 people from Kent and other South King County cities to move toward stability.

“We’re proud to offer this program again,” said Robin Corak, chief operations officer, Multi-Service Center. “In the past we had a strong rate of success in connecting people with family-wage jobs, and we’re glad to be able to help more people create stability through employment.”

For Kelly, THRIVE helped her get on her feet. “Multi-Service Center has a philosophy of let me help you help yourself, which is just what I needed,” Kelly said. “They were patient with me, supportive and encouraging.”

While in the program, Kelly was placed in a paid internship with Habitat for Humanity in Tukwila, where she learned new skills and developed current references.

“The job really helped me believe in myself, and it gave me confidence,” said Kelly. While in her internship, Kelly put her new job search skills to work, flooding the market with resumes. Her persistence paid off and she landed a job with Catholic Community Services as a woman’s advocate, a job she feels particularly suited for, helping chronically homeless women get back on their feet.

“I love my job,” she said. “It’s a good fit for me.”

While enrolled in THRIVE, Multi-Service Center staff also helped her find housing through the agency’s Rapid Re-Housing program, which offers subsidies for a limited time to give individuals time to reduce debt, build savings, and find steady employment.

Today, with a steady job and an apartment she can afford, Kelly is focused on continuing her path of sobriety and stability, intent on building a bright and self-reliant future for herself.

Multi-Service Center’s THRIVE program is geared for homeless individuals, ages 18 and older, who have worked sporadically or not at all for a prolonged period of time. The program is free for participants.

To learn more about the THRIVE program, contact Jim Boland, case manager for THRIVE, at 253- 838-6810, ext. 115., or log onto www.multi-servicecenter.com.

Multi-Service Center has a 40-year track record for helping thousands of people build lasting stability in their lives. Through proven resources and support in employment, housing, education, energy assistance, financial management, food, clothing and advocacy for elderly and disabled, residents of South King County create unique pathways out of poverty. Headquartered in Federal Way, MSC is also located in Kent and Burien. Learn more at www.multi-servicecenter.com.

Multi-Service Center is seeking internship sites in area businesses and organizations for adults needing current on-the-job experience to prepare them for re-entry into the workforce.

Interns work 20 hours per week and are paid through grant funding. There are no costs to the employer.

Employers would need to provide interns a safe working environment, duties that would prepare them for a job in their chosen field, and monthly progress reports to the intern’s case manager.

If you have a business or organization that could benefit from having an intern for up to four months, please contact Jim Boland at Multi-Service Center: (253) 838-6810, ext. 115; or jimb@multi-servicecenter.com.

 

MORE ON THRIVE

To learn more about the THRIVE program, contact Jim Boland, case manager for THRIVE, at 253- 838-6810, ext. 115., or log onto www.multi-servicecenter.com.

Multi-Service Center has a 40-year track record for helping thousands of people build lasting stability in their lives. Through proven resources and support in employment, housing, education, energy assistance, financial management, food, clothing and advocacy for elderly and disabled, residents of South King County create unique pathways out of poverty. Headquartered in Federal Way, MSC is also located in Kent and Burien. Learn more at www.multi-servicecenter.com.

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