After being released from incarceration, Shaylah transitioned into an outpatient substance use treatment program. Shaylah admits that while the program was okay, it was not a good fit for what she needed, which was to find employment, a top priority for her recovery and re-entry. Because of her record, Shaylah remembers struggling to find work. "Life was hectic when I first came to Goodwill's Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program. My background caused struggles with finding a job. Working with Goodwill provided me with a better opportunity. IPS provided the extra help that I needed.”
Shaylah was determined and committed to finding employment and met weekly with her employment specialist, Lilli. Together, they updated her resume, researched businesses, completed job searches, filled out job applications, and had ongoing conversations about how she wanted to stop quitting jobs due to overwhelming feelings of stress, and frustration in the workplace. Shaylah appreciates how honest she could be with Lilli. She believes this helped them develop the collaborative relationship that they have.
Reflecting on where she started and where she is now, Shaylah states, “I don’t get mad or frustrated anymore. I used to call Lilli when I was frustrated and overwhelmed, and I don’t do that anymore because I like my job. I felt heard and understood by her.” After trying 3-4 different jobs, Shaylah found a good fit working in a quiet building in downtown Milwaukee, cleaning office spaces. Since then, Shaylah has noticed improved confidence, better nighttime and morning routines, and a reduction in substance usage, which she states has cleared her mind and allowed her to think about her long-term goals. In a sense, Shaylah believes work is becoming a coping skill for her. It helps take her mind off the negative. She now thinks positively about her future which includes wanting a new car, her own housing, and saving money. Most noticeably, Shaylah has recognized an increased desire to help others and give back to her community. “I want to work with kids and youth as a correctional officer or own and operate my own daycare someday.”
When asked about her advice to others seeking help and support in their recovery, Shaylah states that it is never too late to think that you can’t achieve your goals. She adds, "Sometimes, you must do stuff that you don’t want to do. If you try and do it, you might get a better outcome than expected. Don’t be afraid to do something that you don’t want to do because it could end up being an amazing outcome.”