A program offers homeless people the opportunity to train as carpenters

There is hope, immigrant leaves homelessness to become a carpenter

Alicia Guadalupe Jiménez lost her home and watched as her family separated, but never stopped fighting. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

Aurelia Ventura / Impremedia / La Opinion

Yes there are someone that touched background to the to lose its home and see forced to to live in the streets of the Angels to the grade from to wish to be dead, is Alicia Guadalupe Jiménez. But is immigrant mexican achievement give him a tip over to its lifetime and at 49 years, he found its vocation and became in carpenter.

Alice is mother from seven sons with ages of 30, 27, 25, 23, 21, 18 and 16 years. Five women and two men

Born in Jalostotitlan, Jalisco in Mexico. He came to state United when had 14 years. Weather after Return to its country from origin, but went back at 19 years with its first daughter in arms. "Crossing the border for him Hill with my daughter of 30 days from born" remember.

It was a mother single that never be case Y He passed its lifetime from job in job. Worked how Baby sitter; it was worker in a factory from wood and in the building. The did from waitress Y saleswoman.

Alicia Guadalupe Jiménez never imagined that one day she was going to be a carpenter. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

With Many jobs I buy its house in the year 2000, but when came the recession of 2008 and the Payments monthly from its mortgage be were by clouds, the stuff be They left of control.

"I tried from Modify he loan of the house I I put in hands of several companies, but no they did any. In the end, I found a, but for not talk English neither understand well the process, I did fraud. They finished taking me out from my house in the year 2013 ”, tells.

Alice says that when be he saw in the Street, its family be broke up.

The sons greater be were by its side. She know left with the two daughters minors.

"Had a boyfriend that me it gave joke from stay in its House, but it was a bad decision, pass by a lot violence domestic with he. Until one advisor I said that preferred that live In Myself Van to follow being victim from abuse"

For its bad fortuneat same weather that left the relationship violent in which I was, lost its job in a asylum for elderly that Hill.

"With my daughters of 15 and 13 years, I I was to sleep to the parking lot of the restaurant Denny’s from Glendora. You I explained me situation to manager and I it gave Excuse me from park me Van at place Y use he bathroom by nights" bill.

Alicia Guadalupe Jiménez learned to make a living as a carpenter in Los Angeles. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

They slept in his vehicle until 2016 when he was lent a trailer in a nursery. “The owner told me to start paying him when he worked. The trailto I didn't have water or electricity, but at least we didn't have to sleep in the truck anymore, and we could stretch, ”says Alicia.

Those years sleeping in the car were very hard. “I was looking for shelters or places to stay, but they told me everything was full. They wanted to send me to Las Vegas, ”he explains.

Alice got depressed so much so that there came a point where I no longer wanted to live.

"For than to live yes already no I have any neither that give them to my daughters. Me self esteem I was for the soils" confess.

Be He felt terrible when its daughter you said that already no endured to live in the Van. "There it was where I thought in give them in adoption. I believed that So would have he ceiling that I no could offer them" Explain.

The mexican it was diagnosed with depression severe. “My sons greater they thought that I missed the house for undo from they" remember.

Between its depression He had the great idea of register at school community for study English; and by amazing that look like be joined to a club for to motivate to the young boys that newly they leave of the jail.

"I tried from help them to what they saw he world different", He says. To the same weather, between you turbulent lifetime, be it gave the opportunity from to be made citizen of the state United.

Alicia Guadalupe Jiménez cries of happiness for having managed to leave life on the street and have a job and a roof. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

Alicia says she left the hole thanks to her great faith in God. “He had me praying and praying. My faith in God never fell apart. I always told him that I had something very good for me"

It was so when heard of a Program union that I trained to the people vulnerable to be carpenters.

“I called on the phone and they told me I had to go on a Saturday. When I arrived there was a line of more than 100 people. I was scared because I spoke a little English and I thought that could affect me, but I was confident in my faith and my prayers, ”he adds.

During the interviewle Opened its heart to its interviewerand said that had many you want from standing out Y I was searching desperately a opportunity.

His biggest challenge was the first day of training. “When I looked at the so big woods. I said, am I going to lift that? I went to the bathroom, bent my knees and asked my angel to give me strength. I went down to training, owner of a great calm, ”he recalls.

Alicia Guadalupe Jiménez has found her vocation in carpentry. He regrets that he has not discovered it in his youth. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

Alicia started its training to be carpenter in November from November of 2017. Finished in February of 2018.

“When I finished, I started looking for work. I got up at 3:40 in the morning to go to the construction sites. I met an angel named Jorge who told me, where to go to look for work. "You want to feed your daughters and I'm going to help you," he promised. That day I submitted my application for a job; and that same day they called me to hire me. ”

Alicia got job on the 19th of March of 2018 in one company very big from building that you job to the system from transport public Subway, where yet keep going working.

"Job putting up he frame for the fences", He says.

Between tears, bill than to seven months from to work in the building you they gave a increase wage.

"He cried with happiness because I no longer wanted to live. I thought that there was nothing left for me, that I would never leave the helplessness I was in and put my daughters", it states.

Alicia Guadalupe Jiménez enjoys her work in the carpentry that took her from living on the street. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

But also be feel very happy why their sons greater from age That had out from she, be have approached again.

He summer past, Alicia could rent a place for to live with his two daughters.

“I continued living a long time in the traila Because my credit was damaged. Nobody wants to rent you with that background. It took me time to rebuild it. further, My car had been stolen. Now I have another one that I bought with very high interests, ”he says.

"Me dream is to buy a house own" it states.

Alicia is very grateful for the training she received to be a carpenter who helped her have a roof for herself and her family.

"I have I have wear food at the table and I've turned to smile" holds.

Matt Dunphy, Coordinator of the Brother’s Keeper program of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

A second chance

Matt Dunphy is coordinator of the Program Brother’s Keeper of the labor union Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters that train how carpenters to people of the community in state vulnerable how homeless or Who they just from get out of the jail. He only requirement for accept them, Explain, is that show attitude, wish, dedication and interest.

"Them we teach the abilities that they need for to work in the building. To the finish he training What is it how a species from boot camp (training military) we deliver a game from tools for what start to to work, the we help to find job already how talk with the contractors" precise.

The program is funded by a scholarship from the International Carpenters Union. “Participants pay nothing. They give them $ 100 a week until they become union members, ”he says.

This training, considers, is a generator important for a change from lifetime.

"The carpentry is a career very good paid. Start with salaries between 50,000 and 60,000 Dollars to the year plus Benefits, but a expert may arrive to win 100,000 Dollars to the year" write down.

Dumphy precise that they they leave practically to Street to look for to the people who want a opportunity of a good job.

"We empower them. We provide training and support. We give them a huge opportunity, but the ball is on their court, it is up to them to happen. The strong and determined as Alicia stand out”He emphasizes.

This Article it was he latest of a Serie from five on the crisis of indigence that currently lives The Angels.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here