Keyshonda Robinson knows the importance of a second chance. As a client in Housing Works’ Second Life Job Training Program, she’s taking this opportunity to rebuild her life through education, job training, and sobriety.
The 34 year old native of Newark, NJ, got a hard start to her young life. Robinson’s mother died of HIV-related illness when Keyshonda was only 17. Feeling she was alone and facing the stigma of having a parent die of HIV, Robinson began using drugs as a way to cope. In 2005, Keyshonda also tested positive for HIV.
“When I first tested positive, I thought I was gonna die,” she said. “I couldn’t understand why me? But then I kept getting high because I was in denial about it.”
After several years of being on the streets and disconnected from family, Robinson landed at an inpatient drug treatment program this past summer, and it was there that she learned about Housing Works.
In the JTP, Robinson is enrolled in GED prep classes, as well as job readiness and other life skills training. She’s also working as a sorter in the processing center in Queens—where all the donations for Housing Works Thrift Stores are sent before making their way into the 12 locations.
“I just want to be out and on my own,” said Robinson. “Housing Works has been a God-send. I’ve learned things that will benefit me down the road.”
Keyshonda is also having a second chance with her family. She disclosed her status to them, and they’ve been very supportive in her health and recovery.blog comments powered by Disqus