LifeLine program makes big impact on small budget

L. Louis Albert is chief executive officer of Jewish Family & Children’s Service. 

By L. Louis Albert

The discussion dominating the news media is focused on severe budget cuts at the federal, state and county levels. Education, health care, social services – everything is under review and at risk.  At the same time, it is important to remember that small programs can represent a cost effective investment with large and lasting effects. 

Over the past three years, the Jewish Family & Children’s Service LifeLine 2.0 Program has helped dozens of members of our community find meaningful and satisfying new positions at all levels of employment.

The JF&CS Lifeline 2.0 Program has worked within a small annual budget of $25,000, utilizing a part-time career specialist to make a huge impact in assisting people in the Jewish community who are unemployed, underemployed or who are in need of special career help.  

How does LifeLine work?  

Our extensive one-on-one performance coaching addresses a number of critical areas, including professional skills identification, goal setting, successful networking, personal marketing and interviewing skills. 

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Our “no charge” service has helped many people secure good paying jobs. Many reported a side benefit of significantly increased job satisfaction. They now like what they are doing.

LifeLine 2.0 clients have described the program as a “life transforming experience.” It has the power to significantly change their lives and the lives of those around them. Two stories help showcase the program’s critical impact on our clients and upon their families:

Client No. 1 had experienced a terrible life period involving divorce, drugs and very serious legal problems. All of these issues combined to create enormous barriers to employment and any quality of life. The Lifeline 2.0 specialist worked with this client to identify and articulate his significant marketing and management skills. 

Helping him effectively present to employers who were in need of his skills and willing to look past his troubled history was another key focus.  Ultimately, he landed an important marketing position and regained not only self-confidence, but also the respect of his family. He told us that we gave him back his life.

Client No. 2 is a single mother whose position was downsized, and she lost her job. She was terrified of losing her home and not being able to care for her family. The specialist helped to identify her core skills and passions that had long been overlooked in order to provide for her children. She soon found an excellent new position with greater income and much more job satisfaction. With newfound economic stability, she was able to join a local temple and send her children to religious school.

Unemployment can be devastating and have an impact far beyond the individual and his or her family. Consider how many people whom you personally know who have been affected by losing a job. Imagine the effects on them and their families. 

We believe that full employment is the best solution to financial insecurity while offering dignity and stability.  

Current funding for Lifeline 2.0 will soon end but the need for these services is ongoing. Donors who are interested in improving lives, strengthening community and helping people secure meaningful employment are encouraged to contact Louis Albert ([email protected]) or online at www.jfcs-stl.org.  

With a small amount of help, we can continue to make an enormous difference.

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