Local groups help people get back on their feet

HARRISBURG, Pa — (WHTM) The Salvation Army in Harrisburg and Staffing Agency SMX have gone above and beyond to help those working hard get a second chance at life. Both organizations have helped people find jobs and provide transportation to and from work.

Owen Bennett can count his blessings.

“I’m now living in my own apartment. It’s a beautiful atmosphere to work for. Nice people. I’m progressing in life, ” Bennett, a staff management employee, said.

It was a different story three weeks ago. The Salvation Army teamed up with staffing agency SMX to help folks get back on their feet. To help folks like Owen.

“We’ve realized along the way that there are a lot of people who have a desire and are willing to work,” Rev. Scott Minnich, Case Manager at the Salvation Army in Harrisburg, said.

They helped out by processing SMX applications, earning people jobs with a starting wage of $13.50.

“We get a lot of people who are from the Carlisle barracks, wives who just want something to do who are stay at home moms, we help students, inner city people who just need positions,” Lindsey Myers, Recruiting Manager of SMX, said.

An opportunity for better jobs, better housing, and most of all, hope.

“It’s changed me. It’s been an opportunity for me to stay straight,” Bennett said.

But many of the workers didn’t have a way to get to work.

“Because the Capital Area Transit bus would drop people off a mile away and they’d have to get there in fifteen minutes or three miles away and get there in about an hour,” Minnich said.

After some improvising, team work, and they said, the grace of God – a solution was just around the corner.

“By providing that transportation we can get those people to a great paying job, to get them a career, and help them set themselves for their life,” Myers said.

Fast forward several months, SMX now provides two free buses for workers to take them from Harrisburg to Carlisle. 88 people have a ride to work, and a second chance.

“I mean they’re going to be able to have a sense of hope again that really begins to transform their lives. For a lot of the guys they’ve been down and out for a long time without hope and all of a sudden they’re on the bus with hope,” Minnich said.

“I just consider myself a very lucky person. It’s been good. I’m moving up in life,” Bennett said.

SMX plans to provide transportation as long as it is needed. If you are interested in a job visit http://www.apply.smjobs and use code 204S.

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