Self Sufficiency Success - SHIM

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Self Sufficiency Success

certificateThe pandemic threw many neighbors into unexpected economic hardship. People started to realize that their employment status was not as stable as they expected. As SHIM continuously adapted to the varying needs of the community, SHIM leadership realized that a self-sufficiency program would be a welcome addition to SHIM’s comprehensive programs. In partnership with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, thanks to funding from the CARES Act, SHIM began distributing emergency financial aid to families affected by the coronavirus pandemic. While many clients enter SHIM as food pantry or utility assistance clients, staff recognize the need to address multiple factors when helping neighbors get back on their feet.

One of SHIM’s first Self Sufficiency clients recently realized her dream of getting accepted into a training program with UPMC. Diane* came to SHIM during a difficult time in her life. After supporting her two children as a single mom for most of her life, she had begun helping to support her five grandkids. During the pandemic she lost her job and struggled to find new employment. She also struggled with mental health challenges that hindered her ability to get back to work.

After meeting with SHIM’s benefits navigator Lizzie, Diane felt ready to pursue an employment opportunity that would lead to more economic stability. With the help of her coach, she worked hard to overcome challenges, learned to advocate for herself and had time for self-reflection. She passionately pursued a training program with UPMC and was one of the first to be accepted into the program.

“Without SHIM, many of the people that we help would not have someone to advocate for them, push them to follow their goals and passions and achieve self sufficiency.”- Lizzie Henninger, Benefits Navigator

Diane is ready to take this next step thanks to the support she received from Lizzie. Soon she will participate in her training program for four weeks and will receive a full-time job offer to work in various hospitals across Pittsburgh as an Environmentalist Specialist. We celebrate Diane’s perseverance and look forward to hearing about her future successes.

Learn more about SHIM’s holistic support at here.

*name changed to protect anonymity

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