Project Vision to help people seek employment, create goals

By NICOLE SMITH, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 6/23/16

A new program in Jasper is helping people in Walker County with significant barriers to persevere by finding employment and creating life goals.

Jasper Area Family Service Center, along with Walker County DHR and Walker …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Project Vision to help people seek employment, create goals

Posted

A new program in Jasper is helping people in Walker County with significant barriers to persevere by finding employment and creating life goals.

Jasper Area Family Service Center, along with Walker County DHR and Walker County Coalition for the Homeless, helped create Project Vision, a program that will help area women and men that are faced with difficulties in obtaining a job or other services to ultimately reach stable independence.

Tina Aaron, the program’s case manager who works for the Family Service Center, said Project Vision was modeled after The Dannon Project that serves adults and youth in Jefferson and surrounding counties who need assistance to enter or reenter the workforce.

Aaron says Jasper’s program will serve 12 people, providing multiple avenues of assistance for one year. Project Vision received its first client in May.

“This is trying to move people from poverty into basically being self-sustainable,” Aaron said. “They have to have pretty significant barriers, ... some really big issues that we’re trying to help them to overcome.”

Barriers may include having no identification, poverty, homelessness or legal issues.

Project Vision operates on a S.M.A.R.T. model to achieve goals: specific (deciding what one wants to achieve), measurable (insuring progress is trackable), achievable (determining if goal is truly attainable), results (having measurable outcomes) and time (creating a realistic time frame for goal accomplishment).

In March, Jasper Area Family Service Center Director Donna Kilgore told the Eagle: "As they meet those goals, if housing is an issue or childcare is an issue, whatever is identified as a barrier for them to go to work and become more financially stable, then the budget allows a certain amount of money for them to be able to assist that individual. It's to help remove the barriers and get them on an educational employment track to become self-sufficient."

Aside from having barriers that hinder goal attainment, qualifying clients must have a child under 18 that can live either with or without them, and clients must be single. Aaron said anyone who wants to participate in Project Vision must be dedicated to the process and can be referred as a potential participant in the program, self-referred or recommend to partake by the court.

“They have to invest in themselves and their own life, so we’re not just handing out. We’re assisting, we’re guiding, we’re case managing, but they definitely have to be a participant in their own life, because it’s not going to work if they don’t,” Aaron said. ”Wherever they are, we’ll do an intake and we’ll see what their needs are and what their barriers are, and we’ll develop a plan with them.”

Project Vision’s Success Lab will prove crucial to help clients shatter barriers.

The lab will provide a number of services, including help to set up an email account, the development of financial literacy, GED preparation, completion of a FAFSA application for educational funding assistance, resume preparation and job search assistance. Clients will also receive tips on the completion of a successful job interview, have opportunities to seek mental health care, obtain a learner’s permit or driver’s license, take advantage or parenting classes and search for housing.

So far, Project Vision is serving three women, and Aaron says the Family Service Center is searching for people to donate their time to host a monthly seminar to discuss topics that may help Project Vision clients. The seminars are also open to the general public.

“We would love to have some people donating their time and talents in any area they think would be benefiting,” Aaron said.

Anyone who would like to provide assistance with the continued implementation of Project Vision is asked to call the Family Service Center at (205) 302-0801 or email walkerprojectvision@gmail.com.

Project Vision is being made possible through grants from the Walker Area Community Foundation and The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham.