“I came from a colorful history and managed to create a beautiful painting with it,” says Dennis. He used to deal with pain in all the wrong ways, eventually leading to life on the streets out West. Dennis saved up for a bus ticket to Wisconsin, carrying only a backpack, a smile, and the drive to move forward. At night, he often slept behind local buildings, but during the day, he was searching for a way to improve his situation. While visiting an event at the Oshkosh Salvation Army, he stopped by the FSET booth and found the second chance he’d been looking for.
Just a few hours after receiving an FSET business card, Dennis was in the FSC office, talking with his new case manager, Pashua, about his dreams. They walked through a lot of ups and downs together. At first, Dennis faced a common problem: interviews that didn’t turn into jobs. After discussing his options, Dennis decided to regain his commercial driver’s license. Although denied admission by local schools, Dennis was encouraged to enroll in Sabertooth Commercial Driver Training Institute.
FSET helped Dennis get driving privileges, earn his WI driver license, and find temporary housing. Dennis was fired up for classes to start, but then his housing fell through. “You know, after all I have given and all I have been through it breaks my heart to be homeless again,” he wrote to Pashua. Homelessness threatened his enrollment status, and Dennis needed money asap. “Please help get me in that school, so I don’t ever have to go through this again.”
That’s where our incredible partners at WIOA and Sabertooth came into play. Together, FSET and WIOA funded and prepared Dennis for training. Meanwhile, when Sabertooth heard about his predicament, they worked with FSET to help Dennis enroll and even found temporary housing for him during the course!
Just two days after earning his CDL, Dennis landed a great opportunity at MPJ Trucking. “To me, this job means I’ve accomplished something,” says Dennis. “My hard work paid off. It means I did not fail FSET. It means that I did not fail myself.”
Now, Dennis is saving up for a house and hopes one day to be a published author. Congratulations, Dennis! You are an inspiration to all of us.