Day 66: When your life changes

It takes many community touch points to make an impact on a person’s life.  This is Michael’s story.  Nephew holding strong grandfather's hand

I was skiing with my daughter and son-in-law when my life as I knew it changed.

It wasn’t even that bad of a fall, but I knew the minute it happened that my knee would never be the same. Problem was, I worked as a security guard and there was no way I could continue my job; I had to resign after 25 years. That’s when things got really bad for me and Shirley because I had to go on ODSP. A friend told me about JF&CS and through them I was able to get myself some much needed financial assistance, but I wanted a long- term plan and a way out of the rut I found myself in.

My social worker enrolled me in the JF&CS Joint Employment Program with JVS Toronto. I worked with the JVS counsellor and went through a career exploration process only to discover that I had some pretty great math skills. She suggested I consider bookkeeping and I hardly had to think about it before agreeing! They leveraged some provincial funding to cover the cost of my training and even helped me find a co-op placement.

The whole process took about two years but I got myself a bookkeeping job at 63 years old! I really enjoy the work, and it turns out I’m pretty good at it too! I’m no longer a client at JF&CS or JVS and I’m back to total independence. Now I just gotta figure out how to retire one day!”

Your gift to UJA helps fund community social service agencies like JF&CS, JIAS Toronto and JVS Toronto, allowing you to make a huge impact on the important issues facing our community today.

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