John entered the Neil Squire Society’s (new window) Employ-Ability Program (now known as the Working Together Program) without a clear idea of what type of career he should pursue. The program helped him identify his skills and abilities, as well as occupations that might be a good fit for him. He has an innate ability to connect with people, thanks in part to his previous experience with non-violent communication skills. For John, finding a position where he could utilize this skill to help people became his main goal.
John gained a paid position with Community Outreach Vancouver (new window), an organization that provides solutions with a positive impact. He also secured two volunteer positions, one with Vancouver Coastal Health (new window), at their Pender Street Needle Exchange (new window), working as a Harm Reduction Coordinator in the downtown eastside, and another as a SMART group facilitator. The SMART group (new window) is an addiction support service where volunteers provide emotional support and social contact in a peer group setting.
But John hasn’t stopped there, he plans on starting the Community Counselling program at Vancouver Community College (new window) this coming January.