Healthy Communities Y Stories YMCA Employment Programs

How the Y helped Vianney find a job after living on the street

Vianney posing in front of banner

By: Yonatan Kiflu

Vianney is a happy, hopeful, and motivated young man. He has permanent employment, as well as the skills to succeed in his job and in his next challenges that lie ahead.

But this wasn’t always the case. Through an unfortunate set of circumstances, Vianney found himself on the street, and quickly feeling desperate. Beyond having no prospects and no shelter, Vianney lacked the most important thing he needed to survive and keep fighting: belief in himself and a hope that things could be better.

He knew he needed to try something, so he found shelter at a youth housing program in Durham. Encouraged to try and fight for something, for a better day, Vianney went to the Pickering YMCA Centre to find help getting a job. That is where he met Sam and Cherryl-Lyn, two dedicated members of the YMCA Employment Services team who helped encourage Vianney to receive training, and join their intensive employment training program.

After a challenging three weeks, he came out with a new set of skills that would ensure his ability to gain and keep employment. He learned things such as résumé writing, on-the-job skills, how to work well within a team, and strategies for keeping a positive attitude through challenges. Armed with new skills and a fresh outlook, Vianney soon found work in the food service industry.

He applies the communication skills he learned through the program every day at his job, and when things get stressful, he reminds himself to take a deep breath, remember that things will get better, use the skills he was taught at the Y, and remain thankful always. We are proud of Vianney and the progress he has made, and we look forward to helping him in any future endeavours, in his career and life transitions.

The Employment team at the YMCA of Greater Toronto wants to help you! Book an appointment today, and get started on achieving your goal of being employed.