Hatching A New Future With Supported Employment

Hatching A New Future With Supported Employment

“It brought me out of my shell.”  How completely appropriate… 


In our work with Supported Employment at Appleseed Community Mental Health Center, it is our great privilege to work with those who want and need to find THE job…as work IS recovery for many.  Feeling as if one has a purpose, a reason to get up every morning, often escapes those of us who have the opportunity to do it every day.  We have our jobs and our purpose before us each morning and often times may even take it for granted.  For those searching for a meaningful position…to reach his or her goals or dreams, being without work often rests heavily on the soul.


It was for one Appleseed client, Jakob.  Although, only in his early 20’s, he had some practical job experience, but mostly working in a camp situation with the Boy Scouts.  As we found upon searching, those types of jobs are hard to come by and are mostly seasonal…not a good fit for someone looking for a full-time, full-year job.  Jakob considered going back to school and investigated some possibilities in that realm. He kept coming back to the land of “I want to work.” 

Part of the plan with Supported Employment, is helping clients determine what they want to do…what is their job.  Jakob considered many options and eventually filled out an application to work at a local hatchery, as he often discussed his desire to work outside…not wanting to be “stuck in a cubicle.” 


The day of his interview, Mother Nature decided to bring forth an inch an hour snow storm in early March.  The roads were awful, and it would have been easy for Jakob to cancel or postpone his interview…he did not…and he landed the job. 


Now having worked for nearly a year at his hatchery job, Jakob credits this “perfect fit” job with helping him in many ways.  He lists feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs as some of his favorite tasks.  He says that before his hatchery job, “I was lazy and didn’t want to go to work, because it would force me to be social.”  He was uncomfortable being social.  Now, Jakob says he is more social and enjoys not only working with the animals, but with meeting and working with the people.


Jakob credits the Supported Employment program with preparing him for, helping him find, and encouraging him to actually enjoy finding and keeping his job. He was concerned about getting past the interview process, but says working with the Job Developers in the Supported Employment program, he was prepared for the interview and had gained the confidence to do the job.


Jakob says his year-long at this job has allowed him to be more happy and content in his own life.  He now has a group of co-workers he feels are “awesome”, and he gets to work on a farm…outside on a daily basis, which he greatly enjoys.  But, most of all, Jakob says, with a smile on his face, as he talks about the chickens, with which he works…”this job has, more than anything to this point, helped me come out of my shell.”



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