TJ moved to Ottawa to escape his past, where he grew up in a bad neighbourhood.
When he arrived in Ottawa, TJ found himself without a network of support – he had no job and no family or friends to fall back on, so ended up sleeping on couches, in garages and in emergency shelters.
After seeking help around the city for a few months, TJ finally connected with Causeway Work Centre. Focused on helping people with complex employment barriers such as mental health issues, homelessness, lack of education and poverty, Causeway is often the first step into the workforce for individuals who have struggled to find a job.
With employment counselling and skill-building, TJ landed a job with Krackers Katering, one of Causeway’s social enterprises that offers employment supports to those who need it.
He now works full-time, running the snack bar for the catering company and assisting drivers as they deliver orders around the city. With a steady paycheque, TJ says he feels more independent and hopeful for his future – especially now that he’s saving for retirement.
United Way knows that with the right supports, opportunity is possible for everyone. By working with our partners and donors, we can ensure those facing barriers to employment in Ottawa can get hired.