Trusting the Right People

Solid relationships are vital to Graciela. When she came to Wisconsin Works, she wanted to trust the advocates around her, but they needed to earn it. They did, and today she has both the job she wanted and the support she needed to look beyond her past toward a great future!

When Graciela first met her financial counselor Lori, even small hurdles felt overwhelming. A survivor of domestic violence, she wanted to fight for her future, but she didn’t feel comfortable with strangers. Lori immediately worked to put Graciela at ease, assuring her that she was there to talk about anything Graciela needed. “As soon as she began to trust me, everything changed.”

As their partnership grew, Lori quickly learned that Graciela was adamant about sticking to a plan to improve her life. They wrote up a plan including counseling and starting a work experience and ensured that she could continue to attend the Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope initiative for additional counseling on overcoming barriers. Her W-2 team also sought out a Work Experience that would help her get her bearings in the workforce, learn soft skills, and gain the confidence she needed to start a work search in earnest.

“We soon learned the Work Experience site at J&B Consignment was perfect for her,” says Lori. Graciela quickly established a rapport with the owners, who said they would be happy to hire her if they could afford it. That’s when she decided to start networking. She remembered the owner of a Motel 6 who helped her when she had no place else to stay and decided to give him a call. He hired her on the spot!

Her new part-time housekeeping job works out perfectly to accommodate her counseling and her baby boy’s schedule at daycare. It’s the longest stable job she has ever had, and Graciela tells us each week how grateful she is to have the W-2 program for continued support as she pursues her dreams. It has been a pleasure to work with you, Graciela! Congratulations!

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