Six months ago, Darnell Taylor was living on the streets, just released from prison Mr. Taylor had nowhere to turn. “My Mom and Dad both passed away while I was in prison” he explains, “and so much had changed in 15 years; I did not even have the right skills to find a job.” Hungry and homeless he heard of the hot meal program at Our Daily Bread Employment Center. After his meal, Mr. Taylor was encouraged to find out more about the employment services offered by the Center. His circumstances were assessed and he was assigned a case manager who then worked with him to develop a plan for his future. “I was ready to move on and be a more productive person” he says.
In the past six months, Mr. Taylor has come a long way. “Without ODBEC, I wouldn’t have a clue,” he says. “I didn’t know how to use the computer and today you need to know the computer” he says. Since coming to ODBEC, Mr. Taylor has learned computer skills, written a resume, prepared himself for the interview process, and enrolled in and graduated from a two month building and maintenance course at Baltimore Community College. He worked part-time at M & T Bank Stadium for two months and has recently been hired to work a full-time warehouse job in Hunt Valley, MD.
Mr. Taylor explained that he felt responsible for the donations made by others. “I knew I was not going to these classes for free, it was because of people’s donations, so I had to put the work in to make it worth while,” he says. The responsibility he felt to those who had given their time and money to make his transition possible only motivated him further.
His enthusiasm for the program shines through and as he puts it, the staff and volunteers at ODBEC who have become like family to him. “This program means a whole lot to me… I look at myself as a better man and a more productive person. I am choosing to move forward. Without Our Daily Bread Employment Center, I could be back to prison,” he says.
While Mr. Taylor is happy with all of his accomplishments, he knows there is more work to be done and is hopeful for the future. “It may not be the job I want, but I know how hard the economy is right now, so I will start with the first step, work hard and move to the next” he says.
Mr. Taylor may not be certain exactly what his future will hold, but it is evident that ODBEC will continue to be a part of his life. “I like this program and I hope to get more out of it” he says. As his experience and resume continues to grow, ODBEC will be there to help him find better, higher paying jobs. Mr. Taylor also plans to volunteer his time helping those who come after him and share the possibilities of hard work, determination and generosity of others.
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