Apr 26, 2023

‘I wanted to be part of that world’

LifeWorks graduate Marie Melendez says, “I used to be on the sidelines. Now I’m in the game, and I love it.”

Marie shared her story via video at JP’s Faith That Works fundraiser on March 15. She experienced homelessness twice, endured a divorce she didn’t want, and faced $15,000 of debt. She and her children found refuge at Orlando Union Rescue Mission, which connected her with Jobs Partnership and the LifeWorks training course.

Before LifeWorks, Marie says, she longed for economic stability but didn’t know how to achieve it. “I wanted to be part of that world,” she says. “I just didn’t know how to get there.”

LifeWorks introduced her to life and work principles and skills that started opening doors. She landed a job as a unit coordinator at AdventHealth, paid off the debt and moved her family into an apartment. She recently bought her first car and is thinking about college.

Marie attended Faith That Works with her son and daughter. After the video, JP director of partnerships Elliott Drake prayed a blessing over Marie and her family.

“I love getting up. I love putting on my uniform. I love clipping on my badge,” Marie says. “I love driving to work and seeing all the other people who are driving to work too. I love being part of that group of people.

“I am one of them now.”

Go back