At 22, Tammy* first came to Stepping Stones after leaving an abusive boyfriend. She was afraid of what would happen next because she had little work experience beyond a job she held as a student, and she couldn’t imagine what it looked like to support herself. Her self-confidence was at an all-time low after years of her boyfriend telling her she was stupid and couldn’t do anything right.

When she began job hunting, she felt defeated before even starting. An advocate suggested seeing if there were open positions in Stepping Stones’ Employment Enhancement Opportunities Program. After filling out an application and interviewing, Tammy began a job at the thrift store. Each day she worked, her supervisors shared with her how she was excelling and learning quickly. Because of her love of books, they even moved her to help with that section. Her confidence began to build and she started seeing her potential.

For many like Tammy, Stepping Stones’ social enterprises offer opportunity to unlock potential for adults in our 24/7/365 advocacy services, including safe shelter. Adults like Tammy who need paid on-the-job training in order to build skills and confidence can learn in a safe and supportive environment. This sets Stepping Stones apart because we’re able to help people gain the experience they need for future employment opportunities while earning a paycheck.

After working at Stepping Stones Thrift for a year, Tammy found a new job in the medical field. She always wanted to be a nurse and after having the chance to rebuild her confidence, she began to work toward her dream!