Hi, I'm Travis and I am the peer support for the bridge program. My clean date is 10/14/2013. After 19 years of active addiction, 5 years in prison, and walking about every path of life, I found a new way to exist. And eventually, I wanted to start giving back and helping others the way I was helped.
I was given the opportunity to join Gallia County Job & Family Services when they were in search of a peer supporter to join their team. To say I'm grateful would be an understatement – the people I get to work with are amazing!
The Benefit Bridge program is designed to bridge the gap between receiving public assistance and becoming self-sufficient in 18 months. Most of the individuals I work with come to the program employed and on public assistance but have received a raise or a promotion that has lowered their SNAP benefits. My job is to step in and help in areas they didn’t realize were holding them back. Whether it be with debt, housing, a deadend job or anything from their past that is still haunting them.
Here’s a great example of what I get to do: “D” came to the program because she had received a promotion at her job and was going to be losing her SNAP benefits. As I got to know her, it turned out that she and her children were living in a condemnable trailer. The Benefit Bridge allowed me to rehome her family. Children’s Services allowed me to utilize PRC funding and the children all received new beds, comforter sets and pillows. I was also able to utilize a local resource called, “Gods Hands at Work”, which got them a table and chairs along with a food box. “D” was in debt from a previous mistake she had made, but the Benefit Bridge was able to pay off her debt entirely, freeing up an additional $420 per week! This allowed her to provide better for her family.
The things I'm able to do for my clients because of the program truly make my heart smile.