Local businesses to hire Haven for Hope residents

Job fair offers homeless a second chance

Author: Justin Horne, Meteorologist/Reporter, jhorne@ksat.com
Published On: Feb 27 2013 04:26:27 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 27 2013 04:54:13 PM CST
SAN ANTONIO -

At a job fair Wednesday morning, local businesses interviewed potential employees at Haven for Hope.

"I want to be employed,” said an optimistic Brittany Toro. "I’m talking to everybody. I just talked to a roofer and I said, 'I know I’m not qualified, but I’ll try.'"

Toro is a resident at Haven for Hope and a product of the center’s rehabilitation program. She, like many others, is looking for a second chance in the job market.

"I got into a little bit of trouble, I made a couple of really bad mistakes and I’ve seen the light. I’m trying to come back from that,” said Toro.

Toro, along with many other Haven for Hope residents, spent Wednesday morning at a job fair. 

Local businesses like Coca-Cola, Baptist Hospital System, the City of San Antonio and Costa Solutions interviewed potential employees at the Haven for Hope Volunteer Center. 

All of the companies represented were willing to provide a second chance to interviewees who were ready.

That included residents like Vernon James Wallace Jr., who ended up at Haven for Hope after a battle with addiction.

"I came here first and foremost to get my life back,” said Wallace, who hoped to find employment.

Some of the businesses had worked with Haven for Hope before. 

Costa Solutions, a third-party logistics company, had seen good results after hiring around a dozen Haven residents.

"They're just positive, extremely motivational when they’re out there [working],” said Monica Farias, with Costa Solutions.

The relationship between Haven for Hope and local businesses has resulted in over 700 jobs being filled in San Antonio. It is a statistic that organizers believe played a role in lower unemployment rates.

"We're right at about 5.8 percent right now, considerably less that some of the other larger cities in Texas," said Haven for Hope’s Director of Education and Vocation Geri Felios.

As for Toro, after talking to every potential employer, she felt confident that employment would come her way.

“It would be great, you know, it would take away half of my worries," she said. "I would be able to take care of my daughter.”