Victor Brown spent 25 years in the Texas Department of Corrections. After his release last year, he returned to Dallas, securing a minimum-wage job with a landscaping company in Carrollton, Texas. Because he worked the night shift—from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.—Victor’s commute was a challenge.
One night, during his bus ride to work, Victor met Cornel Hill. A graduate of CitySquare’s Build4Success commercial construction training program, Cornell told Victor about the training he received through the program. The next morning, Victor contacted CitySquare to sign up.
But his job wasn’t able to accommodate the hours he needed to complete CitySquare’s Build4Success program. Victor was faced with a choice many in his position don’t have: pursue personal growth through job training, or stay in a dead-end position. Realizing that he was luckier than most, Victor chose to quit his job and enroll in the fall program. Before his training even began, he started giving back to his community by volunteering at CitySquare’s Food Pantry.
During the last week of his training, a workforce advocate from CitySquare’s WorkPaths program connected Victor with a local employer who hired him almost immediately. On November 18, 2016, just two and a half months after enrolling, Victor graduated CitySquare’s Build4Success program. His new employer even gave him enough time off to attend graduation.
Following his graduation from CitySquare WorkPaths Build4Success program, Victor Brown was offered a construction job working with WEBBER on a construction project in south Dallas. The location was important because it eliminated the long commute he had been struggling through at his first post-release position.
The pay was also a lot better. Better enough, in fact, that Victor started working with a Financial Empowerment coach from CitySquare’s Workpaths program. His coach helped him create a financial plan with his extra money. Thanks to his planning, Victor was able to purchase a car even faster than he had earned his driver’s license.
As part of his financial plan, he passed the written portion of the driving test in January and the driving portion in February. CitySquare also helped him file his 2016 income tax returns.
Victor has expressed how thankful he is for the continued encouragement that he received both while enrolled in CitySquare Workpaths and after graduation. He says that CitySquare has shown him for the first time that people care about him, and that has truly changed both his life and his perspective.