McKinley: In His Own Words

A Quick Note

Sometimes the people who go through our programs take the time to write in and let us know about their experience. We cherish these moments, because there is nothing as powerful as hearing about someone’s success in their own words.

McKinley enrolled in the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program with the help of his Forward Service Corporation caseworkers, Chasong and Kim. We are honored to share his account with you today.

McKinley’s Story

I was released from prison in November 2021. Because of the amount of time I’d been gone I was, literally, starting over from scratch. With no support from family or friends, I figured I would be in for a long, hard fight to get back on my feet. Starting out, all I had were the clothes I was wearing and two bus tokens. A month later, thanks to the efforts of Chasong, Kim and the rest of the FSET team, I’m ringing in the New Year with a job and a good foundation for getting back on my feet.

Chasong and FSET helped me with resources that let me explore whether changing my career would be a viable option. He met with me to talk about my long-term and short-term employment goals. He encouraged me to “map out my dreams,” and gave me tools I could use to help keep “first things first” during my search. Chasong also introduced me to Kim, the FSET job developer, who went above and beyond what I thought would be done to help me find work.

To help me with the “daily grind” of job searching, the assistance FSET provided was remarkable. Chasong was able to supply bus passes and transportation vouchers that met the critical need of getting around the city–especially during the winter. When problems arose that prevented me from being able to engage in phone interviews, Kim and the team stepped in and provided the means for those interviews to proceed. When it came down to mapping out a game plan, communicating with the outside world, and handling the details of post-incarceration life, access to the FSET computer lab was a crucial necessity.

Now that I have a job, FSET is still behind me and supporting me all the way. Chasong provided vouchers from Goodwill that allowed me to get the clothing and materials I needed for work.  FSET was able to provide a set of steel-toed boots for my initial job interview and then let me have them when I was offered a position! FSET is committed to helping me get back on my feet solidly during my first few months at the new job. They continue to make bus passes available, will enroll me in training if I need it, and have connected me to a resource that can possibly help me obtain a vehicle!

At Thanksgiving, I was thankful to be released. Now at Christmas, thanks to the efforts of the people at Capital Consortium, the Wisconsin Job Center, and especially FSET, I am thankful that I can look forward to 2022 with hope that I can get back to a normal life.

McKinley benefitted from the following programs:

FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET)