One conversation during a ride on Marta makes a life changing connection.
Jacqueline loves her job working as a janitor in BDI’s facility management social enterprise. She enjoys her coworkers, and the income she earns allows her to live a life she had once only dreamed of having.
Two years ago, Jacqueline was out of work, homeless, and battling thyroid cancer. Despite her years of work experience, Jacqueline’s job search was going nowhere. She worried that people were afraid to hire her because of her illness.
One day she struck up a conversation with a fellow MARTA rider, and everything changed. Their conversation turned to Jacqueline’s struggle to find employment. The woman on the train was a BDI employee, and she encouraged Jacqueline to contact the organization. Jacqueline reached out and was put in touch with BDI’s recruiter.
BDI connected Jacqueline to a janitorial position in one of its social enterprise contracts at Peachtree Road United Methodist. She liked her job and had recently gone into remission. A year into her job, however, her cancer came back. She spoke with the BDI staff about her situation, and they moved her to another contract, this time at the Summit Federal Building. Her new supervisor made her responsible for maintaining the restrooms, which allowed Jacqueline to work at her own pace and also provided her with a very flexible schedule.
“My supervisor was very accommodating. I could adjust my schedule around my medical appointments so that I didn’t have to take time off work. I could still work my full schedule and get the care I needed.”
Seven months after her move to the Federal Summit Building, Jacqueline is once again cancer-free! She has many other things to celebrate, in addition to her health. Since starting at BDI less than two years ago, Jacqueline has seen her personal life turn around.
“I created a vision board with my goals. Thanks to my job at BDI, I’ve accomplished all of them,” she said proudly. “The biggest is that my daughter and I are no longer homeless. We have our own place. I have a car now, and checking and savings accounts. I’ve done all of these things in less than two years!”