The work of West Valley Community Services isn’t done in a vacuum. In order to serve more than 4,400 clients annually, we work with a range of partners, from individuals and corporations, to foundations and government agencies. Sometimes these partnerships come in the form of contract or grant funding. Sometimes partners bring expertise or research to the table. And from time to time, the partnership results in the launch of a brand new program.
A program like the Haven to Home Job Training Program, which originally began as an idea advanced by Cupertino City Councilmember Jon Wiley. During one of the many conversations he has with City residents, he was asked how Cupertino could play a greater role in helping unhoused residents. After doing some research, Councilmember Willey approached his colleagues on the Council and the City staff about creating a program to provide employment and training for two unhoused individuals, providing a pathway toward income stability and permanent housing.
West Valley Community Services was selected to partner with the City to create this new program, which provides on the job experience at WVCS and housing support, in addition to case management and access to all the services WVCS offers. Over the course of the nine month program, participants have access to a combination of formal training and on-the-job skill development that builds and enhances their job history, especially helpful for folks that have gaps in their employment. In addition, as the program nears completion participants receive support in resume building, job search, and interview skills, with the goal of securing permanent employment.
Samantha was the first candidate to successfully complete the program in 2022, and secure a full-time job. While she was initially interested in pursuing a career as a medical assistant, after working at WVCS Samantha realized she was interested in a job in food and nutrition operations. As the result of participating in the Haven to Home Job Training Program, Samantha was able to return to full-time employment when the program ended, secure stable housing, and was reunited with her children who she had been unable to live with while she was experiencing homelessness.
Samantha had this to say about her experience:
“This program has helped me learn new life skills, and how to be more responsible. I am genuinely grateful to be housed and not have to worry about where I am going to sleep. If it wasn't for this program I don't know where I would be.”
WVCS is grateful to the vision of Councilmember Willey, the City Council and staff of the City of Cupertino, and all the partners that make our programs possible!