Neopolitan Lighthouse’s Economic Development and Employment Project (EDEP) was designed to assist victims of domestic violence in securing and retaining gainful employment, acquiring financial literacy, and receiving referrals to job training services. Neopolitan’s shelter, walk-in, and legal advocacy clients are eligible to participate in the EDEP. The goal of the project is to ensure that clients have the resources and assistance that they need in order for them to obtain and maintain economic stability, self-sufficiency, and self-reliance for themselves and their children.
Upon entering the EDEP, each client is given a one-on-one, in-depth assessment to determine her education level, employment history, future employment interests, and needs to achieve her goals. The client is provided with information and guidance so that she may determine the type of job that she would like to have, or the type of educational program that she would like to enroll in. She is then assisted in establishing a plan to achieve her employment and educational goals.
After a client determines the kind of job that she would like to have, staff educates the client about resumes and cover letters, and assists the client in creating a strong resume. The client is provided with copies of her finished resume so that she may apply for jobs in person. EDEP clients are also able to use computers at the EDEP facility and receive assistance in applying for jobs online. Staff ensures that each client has a professional email address where they may send and receive information regarding employment.
In addition to these services, clients in the EDEP participate in informative group sessions that focus on professional dress and speech, telephone etiquette, job searching, resume creation, cover letter writing, and interviewing for jobs. The EDEP director conducts mock job interview groups, which allow clients to get a better understanding of how to approach interview questions and get more practice in interviewing so that they will be more confident during the interviewing process.
Educational and Vocational Assistance
To assist clients in finding employment and achieving self-betterment, Neopolitan Lighthouse provides clients in the EDEP with educational services. Adult clients who have not finished high school are assisted in selecting and enrolling in a GED program so that they may obtain their GEDs and find more adequate employment. Neopolitan also assists clients in selecting and enrolling in vocational programs. Neopolitan works with several vocational and trade programs to assist clients in jump starting their careers. Some of these program’s concentrations include culinary arts, security training, taxi driving, plumbing, CNA training, and phlebotomy.
Financial Literacy Assistance
The EDEP provides clients with training in financial literacy so that clients may understand the various financial resources that are available to them and will be better equipped to manage their finances. Within the first two days of entering the EDEP, clients receive assistance in creating a budget using their own income. Clients learn how to prioritize their expenses so that they may spend their money wisely and ensure that their most needed expenses are paid for. Clients also participate in group sessions which teach them about subjects like budgeting, bank accounts, saving money, and credit.