This quote clearly defines the challenges I have faced in my self-improvement journey. As I begin my new role as a Regional Navigator with Workforce Solutions, I would like to take this opportunity to share my personal story in hopes of inspiring others.
After nearly 10 years in the military, I thought the training I received had prepared me for any real life situation. Unfortunately, transitioning from my structured life in the military to the not so structure civilian world proved to be far more difficult than I anticipated.
Shortly after leaving the military, I began school in Houston. I had made arrangements to live with family until I completed my schooling; however, roughly two years later I was dealing with an accumulation of unfortunate circumstances. I was unemployed, dealing with a divorce, and handed an ultimatum to find my own place to live.
Without thinking of all the consequences, I found myself in Mexico. My “own place to live” ended up being on the street in my vehicle. This got old quickly and after three months, I’d had enough. Fortunately I was able to re-connect with friends and family who were willing to assist with my traveling expenses to get back to the United States.
Upon my return to Houston, my family and friends assisted me further with getting back on my feet. I was referred to Workforce Solutions where employees were able to connect me with valuable resources needed for stability. One crucial piece of the puzzle was finding gainful employment.
I actually found my “rebound” job at Workforce Solutions as a Greeter. Eight months later, I moved into my current position as a Regional Navigator. I now have the privilege of helping people experiencing homelessness find jobs through my work as part of the Income Now initiative.
My job at Workforce Solutions fills me with a sense of purpose and makes me feel like a valued member of society. It gives me a reason to wake up every morning. Employment can be therapeutic, and research has shown that self-esteem and self-worth are closely aligned with being employed.
I shared my story because I believe employment is important on the road to recovery for any person experiencing homelessness. When I confronted my struggles, it was not easy for me to progress. It was important for me to remain optimistic when I had nothing. Thankfully, I was able to visualize a light at the end of the tunnel and put my best foot forward.
If you can relate, or if you find yourself in a similar situation, I encourage you to push forward to success. I’ve found that you must accept conflict, even defeat, in order to truly find yourself.
Daniel Mabry is a member of the Workforce Solutions Regional Navigator team in the Houston-Galveston region. After serving in the United States Marine Corps for over 9 years, he connected with Workforce Solutions for career guidance and ended up becoming an employee. This position allows him to utilize his training and personal experience to help people experiencing homelessness.