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Homeless man overcomes addiction to find fulfilling career at local glass warehouse

May 8, 2018

From living on the street to becoming the head of a local glass warehouse in less than three years, Kaleem G. shows second chances are possible with the help of Operation New Hope.

Operation New Hope, one of more than 70 United Way of Northeast Florida partner agencies, works with community organizations to provide assistance to individuals requiring treatment for chemical dependency, clothing, shelter, educational training and employment.

Kaleem recently graduated from Operation New Hope’s Ready4Work program.

“Ready4Work is a part of my foundation, my sobriety and has made me the man I am today,” Kaleem said.

Ready4Work assists individuals formerly incarcerated, like Kaleem, break the cycle of getting tied up in the criminal justice system through skill trainings, including employment, educational and life skills. The program is four to six weeks, and the end goal is help individuals gain stability by earning careers.

“Two years ago, I did not like who I saw in the mirror, but now I have a career, a connection with my family and hope for my future,” Kaleem said.

Operation New Hope staff instructed him from prison, and when he was released, the training continued. That is how he became forklift certified. The organization also helped Kaleem have a successful job interview. They reciec him clothes and shoes for his first interview and also drove him to his interview.

“I was so astonished and impressed with the dedication the staff showed me while I was incarcerated,” Kaleem said.

Kaleem is just one example of the lives changed by Operation New Hope every day. Moreover, Ready4Work is just one of nearly 80 local initiatives supported by United Way of Northeast Florida and its partners in the areas of youth success, financial stability, health and basic needs.

When you support United Way, local lives like Kaleem’s are transformed, and Northeast Florida grows stronger.

How can you make a difference? Help us create a community of opportunity where everyone has hope and can reach their full potential. Donate now to United Way of Northeast Florida — because change doesn’t happen alone.