Once clients have successfully completed the program, that’s not the end of the journey. We remain engaged with alumni in order to keep the positive path they’ve built moving forward. Project Place is a community that looks out for each other and works to support each other in times good and bad. We want people to understand that setbacks are a natural part of the process. And we want to be there to help alumni get back on track as quickly as possible when they happen.
Many clients are able to find something like a second home at Project Place. We always encourage alumni to come back to visit or seek additional help or advice if they need it. Many will also find ways to give back to the Project Place community. We have several opportunities for things like volunteering or running workshops teaching helpful skills to new clients. You can learn more about that under Get Involved.
Alumni retain access to our wealth of resources and services. The transition back to the larger community after leaving the structure of Project Place can be difficult. We want alumni to know that they have the ability to continue leaning on our services. Some things we commonly offer to alumni include resume reviews, counseling about personal and professional issues, and job/skill assessments. We also host career and skill-building workshops that we encourage alumni to attend. Continued access to the computer lab is also available, in case the technology or devices are not accessible.
As well as workshop and computer lab access, case management will be a resource open to alumni for as long as alumni want to stay connected with us. Case managers regularly engage alumni with appropriate resources and make referrals available as needed. This can include things like new job opportunities in the area, workshops of interest to the alumni, wellness check-ins or something as simple as an alumni needing someone to talk to. Regardless of the need, we want our graduates to know that they always have the support they need at Project Place.
In addition to training, education and case management, some clients are in need of financial assistance. They can sometimes find themselves without resources at a time when they need to make purchases to help them continue their education and/or enter the work world. Several small financial assistance programs are set up to help clients in small, but important, ways with loans and grants for rent, tuition, clothing, or certification fees. Some resources are outright grants needing no repayment, and others may need to be repayed over time. If in need of small financial assistance, alumni should reach out to their case manager to see what may be available. The funds are limited and may not be available to everyone.
More than a job, Project Place strives to place individuals on a rewarding path to meaningful careers. We balance the skills and certifications to get your foot in the door with important leadership skills. These combined give employees a better chance at advancing in their jobs. Additionally, the industries we help clients move into are carefully selected for their accessibility and advancement opportunities. Each year we track who has found a job and housing and who kept it from the previous year. In 2019, we saw that 80% of those who found a job and housing were still in them today! Our goal is for clients to continue succeeding long after they finish the programs we offer. We want people to find a path forward that works for them and that will bring them the positive change they need for a lifetime of success.