From our Community

Overcoming Homelessness

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With a reported net worth of $150million and industry acclaim, many would struggle to believe that Hollywood heavyweight Jim Carrey spent his teenage years homeless and living in a van. Yet that’s exactly what happened. When his musician father lost his job, the family quickly spiraled from a comfortable, middle-class lifestyle into poverty and homelessness. 

With America’s homeless population estimated to exceed 500,000 (excluding the 1.49 million adults in shelters), it’s not an unusual story. Very few will be as successful at clawing their way out of poverty as the Canadian actor and comedian, and many of the two million children currently living homeless will likely bear the scars of the experience long into their adult lives. 

Over half of us (56%, in fact) have less than $1000 saved, which means we’re one paycheck away from poverty. If we lost our jobs tomorrow, we’d have – at most – two months before we defaulted on our mortgages or skipped out on rent payments. Two months. That’s eight weeks until your kids take their place alongside the two million others who don’t know where they’re sleeping tonight. 

Poverty is debilitating, dangerous, and undignified. It is not a disease exclusive to the lower classes; it can happen to anyone. As Carrey’s story shows, most families are driven to it by job losses and unemployment. Living paycheck to paycheck, they have no hope of making ends meet unless they can land a job straight away. Those who don’t find work immediately, risk becoming homeless.

At First Work, we’re ending the cycle once and for all. Half job portal, half social media platform; First Work introduces highly-qualified American’s to employers who value their skills. By prioritizing those who have been out-of-work the longest – our First Candidates – we aim to reduce the impact of unemployment, helping people find work faster and get back on their feet sooner. We can’t all land a life-saving film role, but we can find engaging, stimulating, and well-paid work that keeps our kids safe, fed, and happy. Read more inspirational stories and motivational stories. 

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