These days Wayne Badie says life is good.
“Going back to work helped bring me up a lot,” Badie said. “I’ve done things I didn’t think I would be doing so soon.”
He’s been working at a hotel for about two months and is saving up for his own place.
“This program has given me the chance to get on my feet,” he said.
A few months ago, the 59-year-old was homeless.
“Very depressed,” he said. “It affected my self-esteem a whole lot.”
In January, he started the Employment Power Week program at the nonprofit Room in the Inn.
“Making sure people have good looking resumes, showing them how to showcase those skills,” explained John Vaught, education and workforce manager for the non-profit.
The program started in August, every other week, holding classes in groups of five to 10 people.
Instructors teach interview skills, resume-building and other tools to those experiencing homelessness.
Vaught said it’s not just about getting a job but finding ways to end homelessness.
“The idea is really that we’re helping people get some income that helps them towards stable housing,” Vaught said.
In 2017, more than 2,337 were counted as homeless in Nashville.
It’s a number Vaught wants to change by not only helping people find work, but by giving them confidence.
“I can do this,” Vaught said. “I can get back to work, and I have something to offer.”
It’s the kind of encouragement Badie says that changed his life.
“Ask for help, that’s all it takes,” Badie said.
About 100 people have gone through the program, 30 of them landed jobs in hospitality, manufacturing or industrial work.