Lakewood Community Service Center
Lakewood Community Service Center has been serving the Lakewood community since 1982 providing a range of social services for its most needy residents who require assistance in moving toward greater self-sufficiency during times of crisis. In 2013, LCSC partnered with Towards Employment to offer employment services at the Networks Job Resource Center at LCSC.
LCSC’s social worker Ken Lipka had been working with a client and had referred her to Oriana House for help with her substance abuse issues. She was living with her boyfriend and her two children when she went to into treatment. After completing her treatment, she came back to see Ken at which time she was referred to Networks Job Resource Center.
At the time of her assessment by the Towards Employment specialist, the client had many goals which included getting a GED, finding a job and becoming financially stable, and going to nursing school. After a year, she returned to LCSC to report her successes: She was hired by a local restaurant as a hostess and was recently promoted to server, which means a considerable increase in pay. She also attained her GED and was able to get daycare vouchers for both children so she could go to classes and to work. Her family moved to a larger apartment and she is now enrolled in the Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing at Tri-C.
“Our mission is to provide not only basic needs assistance, but equally importantly, to help clients move toward self sufficiency,” says Executive Director Trish Rooney. “The Networks Job Resource Center is focused on providing our clients with the skills and supports they need to help them become employed or to improve their current employment condition. Funding from the Bruening Foundation makes this important program a reality for those individuals who are committed to becoming more self-reliant.
“The Distribution Committee believed that this program aligned well the Foundation’s interest in supporting Safety Net Services,” according to Bruening Foundation consultant Cristin Slesh. “The program is connecting individuals with real employment opportunities that can and are leading to financial independence. In addition, we like that the service is housed within an organization that works to address the needs of the whole family and connects them to resources to address both immediate crisis and long-term needs.”