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Job Training

“I’m actually on the path that I’m supposed to take, the one God created me for. I wanted to do it in high school or right after, but I didn’t have the support. This is preparing me for my next step, which is going to be surgical tech school.” – Wendy Ross, Women’s Recovery Program


Employment is key to fighting homelessness, and that goes far deeper than drawing a paycheck to cover food and housing. For people who have been unemployed a long time, discovering they can contribute something valuable in the community can make all the difference in their outlook and how they view themselves. UGM is focused on helping people overcome whatever obstacles keep them from the satisfaction and self-worth that come from doing meaningful work.


Chores are an expectation of community life in each of UGM’s shelters. When shelter guests take part in maintaining their temporary home or preparing their meals, they’re also affirming to themselves and others that they have something valuable to offer in the home and in the workplace. Interests, personality and ability levels are taken into account when chores are assigned.



“I roll silverware now because I don’t have to walk too much. … They delegate with dignity; it isn’t some kind of personal contest.” – Joseph, after he hurt his ankle

Employment Ready

Our short-term shelters offer the Employment Ready Program, which helps people overcome their personal obstacles to employment, such as lack of appropriate clothing or transportation, poor work history or lack of computer skills. The ERP provides job coaching, computer access and assistance for job searches and resumes, child care for moms doing job searches, and classes on appropriate workplace behavior.

Employment Training Opportunities

UGM Motors, UGM Thrift Stores, and other departments throughout the ministry offer short-term employment opportunities for people who need a chance to rebuild their work history.


“The Employment Ready Program benefited me in many ways. It got my confidence up. It got me on my own from being homeless, and it got me stronger in my faith. … It’s made me a man that I never knew I was.”
– Brian Watson, Employment Training Opportunity participant

Vocational Education

Every UGM shelter has a Vocational Education Center to develop residents’ academic and skill levels, all with their career goals in view. Each program participant gets a personalized plan, along with classes and tutoring, to reach their goals.


Stephanie with GED

Stephanie finished her GED tests in the recovery program, and now she’s looking forward to pursuing her college degree.

Business Practicum

We encourage residents not to settle for “any old job” but to explore the options and work toward meaningful careers that fit their interests and gifts. Participants in our long-term recovery programs complete a 240-hour, unpaid business practicum in an area that fits their career goals. More than half are hired permanently by the company at which they completed their practicum.

Seminars and Career Fair

UGM hosts regular seminars for residents on how to find and keep employment, as well as a career fair for networking and employment opportunities. These events give residents a look at the local business landscape and what they can do to become sought-after employees. UGM has more than 100 Business Partners that provide seminar speakers, career fair representatives, job coaches and practicum opportunities.


Mike Gonzalez

Mike Gonzalez, who recently finished Men's Recovery, is now a press operator at Able Label, and he loves it. “I get to move around, be loud, talk to myself.” And that’s a big deal for Mike, who struggles with anxiety issues. “My boss tells me almost every day how glad he is that I’m there and what a great job I’m doing.”

Click here to get more info on becoming a UGM Business Partner. >