When you’re living paycheck to paycheck as many people do, it’s not too hard to think of a life event that would quickly put you out of your house or car.

The domino effect

Losing housing or transportation could then make it very difficult to keep your job.

Maybe…you’ve even been there. The good news is, you don’t need to solve these issues on your own.

One employee’s story

Success Coach Sarah Beckle of the Southwest Michigan Employer Resource Network was visited by an employee who was unexpectedly without a car and housing. In order to make it to work and be productive, he was going to need fast solutions.

Negative experiences hamper a positive outlook

The employee had previously experienced housing and transportation challenges with roadblocks at every turn. He told Sarah he would be turned away from the shelter, wouldn’t be able to secure long-term housing, and knew from his own inquiries that busing wouldn’t work. He was frustrated and anxious; he was having a difficult time thinking positively.

Your fast track to available resources

What the employee didn’t know is that, as a success coach, Sarah has connections within the community and through public assistance that make solutions possible. She handles these situations and others every day, learning what works and what doesn’t. She knows what funding is available now and what resources are in the works. If she doesn’t know, she is happy to find out.

Change requires trust

Once the employee put his trust in Sarah, solutions emerged. She scheduled him a ride with county transportation to a shelter where he was given a room for a week. She secured a week’s worth of bus tickets for him to get to work. With his permission, Sarah talked with his public assistance caseworker to help him figure out what he had to do next.

Brighter days

Sarah came to see the employee two weeks later. “His face looked completely different,” said Sarah. “He looked much more at ease and hopeful about his future.” The shelter had given him a room for a month until he found an apartment. They were helping him with his first month’s rent and security deposit. He admitted that it was Sarah’s persistence that got him the help he needed. He said, “It all started with that first bus ticket.”

One step at a time

Simple solutions to big issues can be life changing. Start by talking to your success coach today about one of your challenges.

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

–Steven Covey


Angela Vander Hulst (consultant/principal of Words in Motion) works as communications manager for Michigan ERN and ERN USA in outreach efforts to strategic partners, company members, employees, and media. Employer Resource Networks® (ERNs) help transform companies one employee at a time through workplace assistance in overcoming any challenge or achieving any goal. The rewards are improved lives, retention, and advancement—a win-win for all. Angela has worked with Michigan ERN since 2007 in the areas of outreach, CRM development, and fund development. She is a certified Workplace Stability trainer through aha! Process.