Letter: Testimony to value of Work Force
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
I volunteer at the Pearl Street Center for Co-Act Inc., and am a student at Berkshire Community College. In response to the growing demand for workers in our Work Force program at Pearl Street, I decided I’d chat with a few of our workers to gain insights into their successes and hopes for from participation in the program. In this interview I spoke with E.S. The interview went as follows:
Daniel Raftery: Give me a little bit of your background.
E.S: Born in Great Barrington, I was adopted when I was four and moved to Texas, where I grew up. I lived with my brother and sister in an abusive environment. My siblings suffered from hearing and vision loss from their injuries. To get away from that atmosphere, I moved back to Massachusetts. I did carpentry, roofing, and contracting for 20 years and owned my own excavation business.
D.R: So what brought you to the Pearl Street Center and Work Force?
E.S: Well, despite some of my successes, I was dealing with alcohol and drug addictions. Serving some jail time also hindered my opportunities for work. I finally managed to realize I was going down a bad road and got myself clean and on the straight-and-narrow. During that time a friend mentioned to me about Work Force through BerkshireWorks.
D.R: How have you been doing since you started Work Force?
E.S: Before I came to Pearl Street, aside from what I mentioned earlier, I was homeless for a year and a half. After getting a couple of contract jobs through Work Force, I managed to secure some stable employment with contracting.
D.R: What are your thoughts on the program and Pearl Street?
E.S: Pearl Street and Work Force are a godsend. I’d recommend them to anyone who is homeless and/or in need of a job. The place and its programs help people help themselves.
D.R: What are your goals and hopes for the future?
E.S: I’d like to settle down in a new home on a nice piece of land. I’m just really striving to maintain a good balance in life. I also would like to give back to others. I know how hard it is to go without basic necessities, so helping others is definitely something I look forward to.
If you are looking for work or need work done, call Work Force at (413) 445-4445. Our address is 55 Fenn St. at the United Methodist Church (the Pearl Street entrance).
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