Wanda Moran’s story does not have a great beginning. She found herself in a terrible situation, and she didn’t have much hope to improve.
Wanda, 61, never had a strong support system of friends or family. After “couch surfing” for years, she was forced to live on the streets. In addition to not having a safe place to live, Wanda was an alcoholic and felt constantly crushed by depression.
“It was the worst time I ever had. The next step for me would be
Wanda decided to make a change. She entered a shelter with Wheeler Mission. Despite family members telling her she would fail, Wanda began leading a stable life. She worked in the kitchen and cooked for other people living in the shelter.
“It was very rewarding and they loved my food,” Wanda said.
One year later, she was able to get her own apartment and make her bed at the shelter available for someone else who needed it. An employee at the shelter informed Wanda of Goodwill’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Before she left the shelter, she applied to SCSEP.
Wanda did not expect a call back because of her history of unemployment and alcoholism, but to her surprise, she got an interview and was accepted into the program. At age 57, it was time for a new start. With the help of SCSEP, she was able to get her driver’s license, a car, a new home and a job.
Aaron Roberts, the Community Relations Guide at Goodwill who worked with Wanda and says she is the perfect example of how to succeed in the SCSEP program. "To be successful in the SCSEP Program means to be engaged. Wanda Moran has been engaged with herself, SCSEP Team, and Host Agency Supervisors and because of the dedication, she is the proof to others 55 and older that the Senior Community Service Employment Program works. Wanda utilized the program and all the support and resources to her advantage to become more self-sufficient."
SCSEP also helped Wanda acquire a few intangible things. The program helped her differentiate between things she needed versus things she wanted. This new view helped in many ways, one prominent way was in her finances. SCSEP also gave her a sense of family.
“They are my family because they were there to talk to me when I had problems,” Wanda said.
Wanda was in the SCSEP program for three years. Today, she takes great pride in being able to pay her mortgage and put food on the table.
“SCSEP has done nothing but good things for me,” Wanda said. “They gave me the tools to make a good life for myself and showed me how to be proud of who I am.”