He was married with two children and was making about $50,000 a year on the road as a commercial truck driver.
Earlier this year, his life took a dramatic turn.
He returned home from an out-of-town delivery and found himself homeless, without a job, money, a tally of three months’ worth of unpaid bills and the title of newly-single parent to two teenage boys.
“There was no light at the end of the tunnel,” Steven said.
The Cartersville resident said he was referred to Tallatoona Community Action Partnership for available resources for his family.
“I didn’t even know they existed,” Steven said. “I never thought I would ever be at a place in my life where I needed help just to survive. I showed up with nothing.”
Within a few weeks, Steven had been referred to transitional housing through Good Neighbor Shelter, as well as obtaining a job and enrolling in classes at Chattahoochee Tech to help start him on the path to a new career.
“I was not expecting anything that transpired,” Steven said.
Marian Barber, services coordinator for Bartow County’s office, said not many in the community are aware of the plentiful resources available to those with a need.
“We want people to know that we’re here,” Barber said.
Barber said a common misconception is that the program is a form of public assistance.
“The Pathways to Empowerment program is not an emergency assistance program.” Barber said. “The program focuses on empowering families by providing them services and supports that will help them take care of their families long-term”
In addition to providing access to employment opportunities, career development and counseling, financial literacy, life skills, higher education assistance, access to public benefits and support and resume development, the program also provides GED assistance.
“I’m excited about the Pathways to Empowerment program because it will allow people the opportunity to work toward self-sufficiency,” Barber said.
Information: (770) 382-4222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s note: Steven’s last name is withheld to protect his privacy.