Participant Stories

Timothy Jones: Confronting the Past to Engage the Future

Timothy Jones, like so many of our participants, came to us with his own unique stories of hardship and success. Mr. Jones is a good example of a man that has truly tried to turn his life around by confronting his past---depression, juvenile detention, incarceration and substance abuse---in order to build his future.

Teresa Batts: By the Grace of God

This is Teresa's testimony given at the 2017 Next Step Breakfast.

My name is Teresa Batts. I lived in Washington DC for over 20 years with employment and a home -- I have an associate's degree in Office Administration and have held down plenty of government jobs and have rented apartments to live in. My dad passed away in 2006 and I moved back to North Carolina to be with my Mom. While there, my aunt became ill and I cared for her until she passed away last June. After her funeral, I returned to DC and stayed with a friend while I looked for a job.

Lewis Turner: Returning to the Sky

In late 2016, Lewis Turner was down on his luck: A recently returned citizen, he was eager to return to his previous career as a flight engineer, where he had excelled for more than fifteen years. Due to his age and incarceration, he was fearful that he would never be employed by an airline again.

Mr. McLean's Back to Work

Congratulations to Calvin McLean on his new employment with Marriott! This Next Step Participant came into the NW office and consistently searched for jobs for more than six months. Working with caseworkers, resume writers and computer mentors, Mr. McLean made it happen.

Yolanda Jeter: From Despondency to Determination

A long-time participant with Samaritan Ministry, Yolanda Jeter is an ambassador for the power of the Next Step program. After losing her home, her job, and her parents, Yolanda discovered Samaritan Ministry and began to take the next steps needed to get her life back on track.

Anthony Ashton: From Homeowner to Homeless

Ashton describes homelessness as an endless cycle of monotony: “I do the same thing every day and feel trapped at times.” He accepts what he thinks is his fate. “It doesn’t faze me anymore and the only time it hinders me is when it’s winter.”

Getting Back on Track: Star Plummer

Losing her job in January 2014, Southeast participant Star Plummer was nervous but optimistic. Nervous about falling behind on bills not being able to care for her son and possibly losing her home if she doesn’t have a steady income. Optimistic, because she had over 20 years of work experience with Amtrak and held a bachelor’s of science in sociology.

As the months went by she wasn’t getting any job offers. Nor was she finding success at job fairs or agencies. Her fears became a reality; she doesn’t have a job to support herself or her son.

Samaritan Spotlight; Annette Carver

With twenty years of experience, Annette Carver lead caseworker at the Northwest office has had eighty five success stories including individuals and families. Her path to SMGW began with a motivation for community development. Annette worked at SMGW Southeast and Northwest simultaneously. She quickly became an influential affiliate to the Next Step program, and the Empower the Homeless campaign.

Participant Stories; Introducing Margret Guthrie

Margret Guthrie is a bright, intelligent woman who is a former school principal. Margret is many things, but most significantly, she has been homeless for year.

You might think that Margret is an unusual case, but the caseworkers of Samaritan Ministry have seen an increase of people who – we assume – are out of poverty’s insidious reach.

Bridget's Story

Bridget* has been visiting Samaritan Ministry off and on for over 12 years to receive encouragement for employment and other personal goals. Throughout her time as a Next Step Program participant, she has had some very successful stretches of employment, one lasting over three years.