“I first heard about Project Place, in 2007, while incarcerated at the Suffolk County House of Correction. While there I entered and completed Project Place’s CREW (Community Reentry for Women) program and was told to come to Project Place when I was released,” Josie reflects. She says she decided to come to Project Place because, “I had never really worked with an organization to assist me in bettering myself or utilized services to learn new skills and make connections through networking.”

At that time, Josie participated in one of Project Place’s transitional employment programs, where she learned food service skills. She also learned computer skills in our classrooms-based programs. Josie has kept in touch and been a member of the Project Place community ever since. The pandemic created a barrier to Josie’s progress. Despite these barriers, she was able return to the community to participate in one of our transitional employment programs, Working Opportunities for Women (WOW). Josie says, “Initially, the pandemic impacted my life by reducing my hours at my previous job and forcing me to get another job at Amazon part-time. It also hindered me from securing my own housing. I moved into a sober home until I can move into my own apartment.”

Josie just graduated from the Tech Goes Home class facilitated by Project Place, where she improved her technology skills. She is now focused on advancing her education and career. She is currently working towards becoming a certified Recovery Coach and has the opportunity to attend UMass Boston to obtain her LADAC.

Josie says, “I have learned the importance of how a nonprofit organization, such as Project Place, can impact an individual’s life in such a profound way. They assist someone like me that had no direction or hope. The skills I have learned helped me to navigate in the present society through the trainings, networking, and the encouragement from staff. It really boosted my self-esteem.

Since I came to Project Place, my life has changed for the better. Although my life has been challenging, as any given person’s, Project Place has been in my corner to support me to the best of their ability with one-hundred-percent effort. After all these years, I am still able to utilize the services when I am in need and even receive referrals for other agencies/organizations if needed. Project Place gave me a place to learn and grow, enabling me to meet potentials I didn’t know I possessed and helping me to recognize my purpose for the future. When I think about Project Place, the only word that comes to mind is HOME.”

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