Four Amazing Stories You Made Possible
Your Support of PPL Creates Opportunities for Others to Reach Their Potential
A Place to Stand
Kelley knows all about falling through the cracks. She’s helped people going through them, and she’s gone through life-changing circumstances herself. The highs and lows of her life, and the support of PPL, are driving Kelley make a difference for others.
By all accounts, Kelley was on her way. She’d earned college degrees, worked on million-dollar campaigns, built a house, and travelled the world. Despite these successes, Kelley was also struggling with tragedy. Impacted by domestic violence and dealing with chemical dependency, she gave up and lost it all.
“I didn’t grow up in poverty and I hadn’t experienced it,” Kelley recalls, “but I brought myself to some of those places: homelessness, disparity, trauma. These things can leave you frozen and dead inside. Being at PPL gave me the opportunity to heal and move forward.”
At PPL’s Cabrini Partnership program, Kelley found the support and time she needed to rebuild her life.
“Some people choose their struggles. Others get thrown into them and know if they just had a platform to step up on to, they’d be all right,” Kelley said. “PPL offered me that platform.”
Today, Kelley is thriving and paying it forward. While she’s working towards a Master’s degree, this one-time social worker is volunteering her time as President at Steps of Strategy, helping people in need and in danger of falling through the cracks.
“There’s a stereotype that people who experience poverty have no experience with success,” Kelley said. “You’d be amazed at the doctors, nurses, social workers, and judges that I’ve met that’ve lost everything. Life happens to all of us—it happened to me.”
Starting Fresh with New Housing
Living in PPL housing has helped James in countless ways, including treatment of his unusual allergy.
“I’m allergic,” James says with a smile, “to drama and chaos. PPL is really great because when anxiety comes, there’s always someone to talk to.” It wasn’t always this way.
James has battled to maintain stable housing. Before coming to PPL, he had lost his place to live and was sleeping on friends’ couches, bouncing from place to place. It was a difficult experience for James, as was finding new housing with his criminal history. That’s when he got connected to PPL.
James lives at a PPL housing program set aside for those with criminal histories dedicated to making a fresh start. Your support of PPL provides the stable housing and services that are helping him write a new chapter in his life. So are his neighbors.
Active with the resident council in his building, James feels a bond with those around him as they root for each other’s success.
“I’m all in with the neighbors, and we know we’re not alone,” James said.
James is actively pursuing his education and working to restore family relationships. Having his own place has given him a sense of pride—he admits to cleaning his apartment relentlessly—and space for his children to come and visit. It’s also given him a place to find himself.
“I’m 51 years old, and after all these years, I’ve never known myself,” James admits. “I like where I’m at now, and I feel confident in where I’m headed.”
Job Coaching Creates A Flexible Future
Angela was almost out of options. An injury filled her days with physical therapy and kept her from working, which led to falling behind on rent and put her in danger of losing her housing completely. Working with PPL’s Connections to Work staff, Angela found a way forward she didn’t expect.
“PPL staff listened to me and actively helped me do this,” Angela recalls. “I can’t say enough good things about PPL.”
Motivated to find new work that could accommodate her physical limitations, Angela looked for job training courses for a position where she could help herself and others. She remembered how practicing yoga had helped ease her injuries in the past, and her enthusiasm for it made yoga an intriguing professional option.
“If you do what your passion is, you don’t work a day in your life,” Angela said. “My passion is yoga, and once I did my research on pursuing it as a career, I saw all these doors open.”
Angela enrolled in a program to become a certified yoga instructor and is on track to graduate from the program soon. Her hard work and positivity have impressed those around her. Angela recently accepted a part-time position to assist in yoga instruction, with plans to increase her hours after she completes the program. After years of setbacks, Angela is hopeful about her future.
“I feel so blessed to be able to work at my passion and get out of the vicious cycle where my injury might have caused me not to work,” Angela said. “That fear is gone and the opportunities are bountiful.”
Career Help at Any Age
After completing a temporary job, Michael was again without work and faced long odds. Finding work at his age had proved difficult before, so he turned to a place he had seen help many others like him before: the PPL Learning Center.
“I thought there would be barriers at my age, but with the help of PPL and the inspiration to move forward, I’m advancing in my career at age 57,” Michael explained.
Michael first heard of PPL through a temporary job where he helped seniors find employment. He often referred people to the Learning Center to take part in the computer classes or job training courses. Impressed with the quality of the programs your support creates, Michael connected with PPL staff about his own job search, and how he might continue to help others.
“I admired what PPL was doing for others, so I began to volunteer in the computer lab three days a week,” Michael said. “While volunteering, I tried to find a job for myself.”
Eventually Michael found work as a caregiver, a direction he felt called to after caring for his ailing mother. He started as a home companion, and his employer later provided training so he could become a certified nursing assistant. Once certified, Michael’s hours and impact increased, though he still worked part-time. He continued his job search and landed another part-time position doing AIDS prevention outreach with local youth.
“Now I have two jobs that I love,” Michael said.
Michael credits PPL staff with getting him to where he is today. “The staff’s ability to really listen helped the most. They heard my problems and helped me find solutions. They were truly my inspiration.”