Program for Houston's homeless gives them new sense of hope with paying jobs

Nick Natario Image
Thursday, June 24, 2021
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The program, led by Workforce Solutions, helps those in need find jobs, childcare, transportation and even education.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A program designed to help the homeless find jobs is doing more than offering a paycheck, it's changing lives.

Workforce Solutions works with the Coalition for the Homeless to run the Income Now program, which helps the homeless population by helping them find jobs.

The program helps those experiencing homelessness in the city of Houston and Harris County. Angela Parks, a counselor for the program, visits area shelters, like the Covenant House in Montrose, and helps those in need find jobs, childcare, transportation and even education.

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"I have a couple of my guys that are trying to get [commercial driver's licenses] or go back to school for phlebotomy. We help them with that too," Parks said.

The program is free, which keeps Parks busy. She said she's helping 50 clients, including Samuel Rickner, who once called a tent outside of Minute Maid Park home.

"It makes me feel so good," Parks said. "Actually, this makes my job so worthwhile. It really does."

Now, with the help of Parks and the Workforce Solutions program, Rickner has a job working with concrete.

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"Giving up and living on the street is just a horrible way to exist," Rickner said. "I wouldn't wish it upon anybody."

Rickner is set to get his first paycheck on Friday.

"I was ecstatic. I was just happy. Honestly, I haven't had a depression, anxiety episode since then," he said.

To learn more about the program, visit Workforce Solutions.

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