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Impact Stories

Anthony is now moved into an apartment that he can afford and his son will start the school year with stability and security!

'Anthony' and his 10-year-old son had been homeless for a few months.  After a bad divorce, Anthony slowly got more and more behind on bills and eventually found himself hopping from house to house with his son, staying with any friend and relative that would let them.  Soon he and his son had worn out their welcome and they moved to a motel.  Anthony’s disability income only covered a couple of weeks in a motel so he started borrowing money and getting assistance from agencies in order to scrape by night by night.

A partner organization connected Anthony to Hope for Suffolk and he began to work in the garden. He worked hard – hauling loads of dirt, attacking overgrown weeds and spreading mulch.  By partnering with the Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk and the SpeekdoG Foundation, Hope for Suffolk was able to help keep Anthony and his stable in a motel for 3 weeks while looking for long-term housing.  Anthony is now moved into an apartment that he can afford and his son will start the school year with stability and security!

Anthony |
Hard working dad

Jobs for Life course graduate

Without the Jobs for Life course, I wouldn't have known how to answer half of the interview questions! Now that I'm employed, the depression and frustration of not working is long gone.


Clifford |
JfL Graduate – Spring 2014

Hope for Suffolk has truly been a blessing to me.

Hope for Suffolk has truly been a blessing to me. I started when Hope for Suffolk was just a group that met once a week to pray and talk about our problems then we started making paper and building the garden located at our church. It was hard work sometimes but that's what HFS teaches: working to achieve your goal of being a self-sufficient part of society. Then Hayden started Jobs for Life which I wasn't going to attend  at  first but she asked me so I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did and I graduated.

JFL gave me the tools I needed to acquire employment. You get an ally who works with you to break down any barriers that keep you from working. They even helped to prepare and print your resume. They give you networking tools such as employers and internet access. Company representatives even came out to answer questions and explain what employers are looking for in an employee.  Since graduating I have been doing home health care my first patient passed away but thanks to J4L I'm 2 years into working for the family I'm employed with now. HFS has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. My advice to anyone who is unemployed give these programs a try.  You might not get rich or anything like that but you will get a learning experience that you can use for the rest of your life.

Dorothy |
JfL Graduate – Spring 2013

Jobs for Life

I owe Jobs for Life a huge thank you for the job I just got! During the whole interview I kept in mind all of the things that I learned and I got the job!

Elizabeth |
JfL Graduate – Fall 2013

Joesph had just gotten out of prison when he started the Jobs for Life class. At graduation he said,

This is my first graduation on the outside.  When I was 16 I made a bad decision and went away to prison for 9 years.  In there, it’s not like the movies.  In there, we used to sit around and talk about out here.  In there, we felt like it was easy to survive; but out here?  We were scared of out here.  So when I came out here, I was like a clam.  When I heard about the Jobs for Life class I said to myself ‘I’ll go 3 times and see what I think.’  By the third time, I said ‘I’ll stick with it.’ And it got me to open up.  Before I started this class, when I signed my name on a document I would start to write my number from when I was in prison.  I had to get used to just writing my name.  In this class, I met people that actually looked at me like a person, not a number.  The other day I realized I’ve almost forgotten my number!  I didn’t think I’d ever forget that number.

NOTE – After graduating from Jobs for Life, Levi worked in the Hope for Suffolk garden for 2 months before he was hired at a local restaurant as a chef!

Joseph |
JFL Graduate – Spring 2015

I always feel good when I can come work at the church!

I call Hayden and ask what we are doing this week because I want something positive to do so that I don't go back to my old lifestyle of drugs. I always feel good when I can come work at the church.

Patricia |
Big Helper

Tonya is a mother of 2 and a grandmother of 5.

Tonya is a mother of 2 and a grandmother of 5.  When she came to Hope for Suffolk, she was struggling to make ends meet on her disability income.  She began working in the Hope for Suffolk garden to supplement her wages and she loved the feeling of 'going to work and being productive' after years of being without a job.

Not long after she started working in the garden, Tonya’s daughter lost custody of her 2 children.  Tonya took the two young children in and suddenly she was a mother all over again.  The children came with new expenses and Hope for Suffolk was able to assist Tonya by providing diapers, formula, furniture and support.  The garden continues to be a place of peace and accomplishment for Tonya as she raises her grandchildren. 'Most of all,' says Tonya, 'Ya’ll have been here for me and I know I’ve always got a friendly face and a listening ear here in this garden.'

Tonya |
Mother and Grandmother and Gardner in our Hope for Suffolk garden!