Of the 5,000 people who call Spence Neighbourhood home, many live on low incomes.
The Skills Bank, an initiative of the Spence Neighbourhood Association, is addressing localized poverty and unemployment by connecting community members with odd jobs in the area. But that’s not all.
“It empowers them. [Clients] become more connected within their community and feel less isolated,” says Coordinator Amy Cundall.
In addition to helping residents secure paid employment such as yard maintenance, snow clearing and clerical work, the Skills Bank also provides assistance integrating into the work force for people of all skill levels.
For example, clients can get help writing resumes and cover letters, searching for jobs or preparing for interviews. Many also need help accessing photo identification.
Through the Skills Bank, Jennifer Beaulieu is developing her computer skills and confidence, and one day hopes to work as a Correctional Officer.
“I really had a bad life when I was younger. I figured I’m going to do something different for myself. I may be 36 but I’m still succeeding to where I want to get,” Beaulieu says.
The Skills Bank is helping provide her with options.
“A lot of people are not confident in themselves but when you come to Spence Neighbourhood [Association] you see a lot of the doors that can open. I know because I’m one of them myself. I know I can accomplish something if I really want to put my mind to it.”