Voices From the Lab: Daddy Can Do Anything!

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As we all are very much aware, finding a job in today’s world is a struggle. Never mind that there are barriers to obtaining a job such as lack of computer access, basic computer skills knowledge or even transportation. What do you do when you are a 61-year-old with an infant daughter and you’ve just lost your job? What do you do when you don’t have reliable transportation, child care, affordable housing but you are desperate to do what is right by your baby?

That is the reality of Austin Free-Net client, Donald Tabor. Reading this you might think, wow…that guy’s gotta be sad, angry or frustrated at his lot in life. Talk to Donald and you’ll know immediately that he feels blessed to have his baby girl, Kennedy, in his life and that he isn’t angry at all.

Donald carries Kennedy in a baby Bjorn-like front facing carrier and she is all smiles and child-like wonder. Even in the summer heat, Donald walks with Kennedy in her carrier from bus stop to bus stop, doing his best to shield her from the sun. He doesn’t have reliable child care; so, she’s his constant cherub-cheeked companion.

Upon losing his job, Donald knew he had to get to the City of Austin’s Job Center here at The DeWitty building and start applying for work. He’d visited the center back when the COA application system went exclusively on-line. He already had computer skills, but lacked the access to the Internet necessary to fill out the extensive application. Naturally, our staff fell in immediate love with Kennedy and cooed right along with her. Our Jobs Lab Trainer, Meredith and our volunteer Dean, talked with Donald to see how AFN could help him.

Together they sat in our lab and reworked Donald’s resume as well as researched benefits, childcare options, ran job searches and looked up how to obtain and apply for affordable housing options. He still is looking for work and we continue to help him in any way we can.

Donald says, “The people here are pretty receptive to my situation and I was able to get several suggestions for me to improve my situation.” We know that Donald and Kennedy will find their success in the near future. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t!

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