Woman who found work through ABC13's job fair while being homeless is now paying it forward

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After spending last Thanksgiving homeless, a Houston woman is paying it forward after landing a job through ABC13's Who's Hiring job fair.

Florine Kamdem can't help but get emotional with the holiday approaching.

"I think this Thanksgiving it's going to feel like, 'Wow, we did this.' I just can't put it into words," Kamdem explained.

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Those are words that Kamdem didn't think possible. Everything was great for Kamdem and her sister. They both had earned their degrees - Kamdem developed an app and her sister worked in chemistry. But then March 2020 happened.

"I made $100,000 the first year of my business," Kamdem recalled. "It was really good and amazing, but the pandemic happened."

When the pandemic started, Kamdem and her sister decided on a fresh start.

"We both moved to Houston," Kamdem said. "Lost both of our jobs. We're both like, 'OK, well something new. We can get something.'"

Nothing ever came. After spending their savings, the sisters had nowhere else to turn.

"For a while, from the beginning, when I was homeless, I was very angry at myself," Kamdem recalled. "Not at anyone else, but myself. I was like, 'How did I let this happen?'"

Kamdem was homeless for nine months, but that changed when she met someone from Workforce Solutions.

SEE ALSO: ABC13 celebrates year-and-a-half of Who's Hiring fair with over 350 people landing jobs

"I applied and I got a paid internship while I was homeless," Kamdem recalled.

Kamdem went from the internship to a full-time job with Workforce Solutions. Now, she's making a difference each Thursday. Kamdem takes calls during our ABC13 job fair and connects with applicants on social media.

"After I was helping her, she emailed me back and said, 'Thank you so much for helping me.' It made me feel like, 'Wow,'" Kamdem said. "That was me nine months ago."

If you're unemployed or looking for a new career, each Thursday, ABC13 partners with Workforce Solutions to host a virtual job fair. Your life can change with one call to (713) 243-6663 on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (713) 243-6663.

You might even get someone on the other end who can relate more than you think.

"That one day of calling us, or reaching out to one of our career advisors to help you can literally change your life," Kamdem explained. "It changed mine."

That change in her life is why this Thanksgiving she can't help but get emotional.

For more updates on the next ABC13 Who's Hiring job fair, follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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