Roxbury Office
Contact: Kevan Barton, Program Director

c/o BCYF Vine Street Community Center
339 Dudley Street
Boston, MA, 02119
Phone: (617) 427-1155
Fax: (617) 427-1125
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Cambridge-Somerville Office
Contact: Jessica Cirone, Program Manager
c/o The Parenting Journey
366 Somerville Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143
Phone: (617) 591-9400 
Fax: (617) 591-9411
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Francois Desjardins

Location: Boston

Francois Desjardins had been living in an apartment on his own, but was struggling to make ends meet on the small weekly checks from his unemployment insurance.  With only three weeks of unemployment insurance coverage left, Francois was desperate to find a new job.

He contacted LIFT-Somerville for help locating new employment.

Despite having years of experience working in hospitals, Francois lacked a résumé, email address, and access to the internet to apply for jobs online.  LIFT-Somerville advocate Jane Ottensmeyer worked with Francois to create a résumé and reestablish connections with former bosses to serve as references.  They created a strategy to contact area medical centers and hospitals, as well as staffing agencies.  Francois diligently followed up with every contact each week and his hard work paid off—he soon secured a temporary job, then quickly transitioned to another part-time job in a hospital.  A month later, that job has transitioned to full-time.

Francois says, “I needed help finding a job, but also furniture and a few other things, but I didn’t want to ask.”  Because of the close relationship that Francois and Jane developed, Jane was able to identify Francois’s additional needs and suggest resources for him.  Together they were able to secure an emergency cell phone, a discount from his energy company, and food assistance to make his expenses more manageable while he looked for a job.  Francois says, “Jane was excellent and she really listens to me.  Before Jane and LIFT, I didn’t know how many resources were available to me.  Now I know that there is almost always a solution out there and I do not have to be afraid to ask about it.”