Delaware’s Ministry of Caring: Improving the Lives of Delaware’s Poor and Homeless
From the Emmanuel Dining Room to the organization’s numerous integrated programs, the Ministry of Caring seeks to improve the lives of the state’s underserved communities.
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Training the Unemployed to Find and Retain Jobs
Two years ago, Mary Ruggiero’s retail employer cut back her hours severely after the December holidays. With her husband, Ronald, and their teenage daughter, Danielle, now 19, also unemployed, the family could no longer make ends meet. Soon after, they lost their home. But there was hope on the horizon.
The Ministry of Caring’s Job Placement Center began working with Mary and Ronald to find temporary housing for the family (which included a young grandson) and to help Mary and Ronald find jobs that could sustain them.
“They were totally relentless in helping us find employment. They never gave up,” says Mary, who recently marked 18 months of employment at Shop-Rite. Ronald has worked at the La-Z-Boy warehouse for a year. The family now lives in a rental home in downtown Wilmington.
The Ministry’s Job Placement Center (JPC) annually places more than 60 people in permanent jobs at supermarkets, restaurants, cleaning services, security companies and other retail and service organizations. Some who come to the center are unemployed; others have jobs but need second or third jobs to be able to support themselves.
“We always try to find clients jobs above minimum wage, because you simply can’t live on that,” says Louisa Teoli, JPC’s program director. The Job Placement Center offers workshops in proper workplace standards and behaviors and works individually with each client on their job search. “They understand that we are not handing them anything. We are assisting them, which helps them become stronger and more independent,” Teoli says.