In 2014, Leon was diagnosed with chronic heart failure, and he had spent time in the City Gospel Mission homeless shelter.
“It was challenging being homeless and being sick at the same time and trying to keep a job,” says the 48-year-old.
Then he went to JobsPlus, the employment network of City Gospel Mission, and his life took a turn that he is grateful for every day.
“I’m thankful for the program, because it has changed my life. I have a stable place to stay now, and I have regained with relationships with my children.”
JobsPlus connected Leon with Crothall Healthcare, a partner of Children’s Hospital located within the hospital, where he spent four years. He was being part of the team that took beds and supplies to patients’ rooms.
“It made me feel good to know that I was doing something to help a child that was sick to feel more comfortable. That’s what I loved the most about that job – making a difference in a patient’s care.”
His managers at Crothall took notice. And when the opportunity in late 2017 came for him to become an official Children’s employee, Crothall HR manager Karen Brunsman was happy to see him get promoted with Supply Chain Management but sorry to lose one of her best employees.
“Leon really made an impact on me. He just never ceased to amaze me in the quality of care he gave. His performance was nothing less than outstanding,” Karen says.
Leon loved Crothall, but he had one thing in mind with the move to Children’s: helping his family. “I want to be able to do something for my children and grandchild. It makes me feel good as a man to take care of my family. My relationship with my family was fractured for years. We’re at a good point now.”
“People at JobsPlus would always say don’t be ashamed to let God work in your life. I wasn’t ashamed I was at City Gospel Mission’s shelter because I know I needed the help. That was God’s way of sitting me down, getting me together, so I could receive what He was going to do.”
Now Leon feels the need to give back. He has referred eight people from JobsPlus to Crothall. He tells them all the same thing: “JobsPlus will hold you accountable. If you put in the work, it will come back to you. They stressed that to us from Day 1. I had to discipline myself, to listen to them when they talked about the barriers to keeping stable housing, a steady job and healthy relationships.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunities I was given. None of this would have happened without JobsPlus. My faith now is becoming stronger. I know it’s through God all this is possible.”