Single mom Veronica has so much to be thankful for this Christmas.
“For the first time, we are having a turkey for Christmas dinner. And gifts,” she says.
Veronica had struggled with addictions and been on and off income assistance for many years. With outdated credentials, the only employment she could find was seasonal or short-term work.
She says she "lucked out” in finding out about the Single Parent Employment Initiative through her local WorkBC Employment Services Centre. The program helped to cover her tuition fees so that she could return to school.
“I just felt hopeless that I couldn’t get off income assistance. Without that funding, I would not be where I am right now. I am really thankful.”
Veronica graduated from the social services worker foundation program at CDI College. Even before she was finished her studies, she had secured full-time employment through her practicum placement and has been off income assistance ever since.
“It’s a rewarding job, but it’s a hard job,” Veronica says of her position working at a resource centre where she deals with homelessness and addictions on a daily basis. She overcame her own issues with addiction, and can empathise with clients who come in for support. “I have the inclination for the job. I am a survivor too.”
More than just surviving now, Veronica is thriving. She has one teenager at home and three older children who are living independently. All are proud of her. She has worked hard to get where she is and feels hopeful about life again.
“Showing them what I can do has made their lives better too," she says.
The Single Parent Employment Initiative provides eligible single parents on income or disability assistance with supports including up to 12 months of funded training for in-demand jobs or paid work experience placement, transit costs to and from school, and child-care costs during their training or work placement and in the first year of employment. Single parents can also remain on income assistance while attending a training program. Since its launch in September 2015, more than 4,000 single parents have become involved in SPEI and over 730 have already found employment.
Read more stories of single parents getting support to build a better future for their family.
Learn more about the Single Parent Employment Initiative.