Dr. Stephen Klineberg of the Rice (University) Kinder Institute for Urban Research in his 2017 presentation The Kinder Houston Area Survey states, “By 2020, 65% of all American jobs will require education beyond high school.” This economic reality has led Open Door Mission to establish partnerships with local colleges, universities and technical schools for client admissions in specific adult education programs. Clients who have the potential to be successful in these programs are identified early in their stay at the Mission and encouraged to work towards building a plan beyond getting a minimum wage job. Our preference is to talk about and encourage a career rather than a job. For those clients who are not able to pursue longer-term training or academic pursuits, we also offer the resources of key community partners such as SER-Jobs for Progress, The WorkFaith Connection, and WorkForce Solutions to help the client find the best employment opportunities possible upon the completion of his DoorWay Program.
The newly created (2017) Career Guidance Program has been implemented to facilitate our DoorWay graduates in their growth. They now move from the completion of the 7-month Recovery Program into an opportunity for a lifestyle and career that is self-sustaining, meaningful and productive. A trained and experienced career guidance counselor is on staff to work as an addition to the Center for Education and Career Guidance to guide men in the final stage of their recovery and towards creating a plan for determining their future employment career and how to obtain the education and training required to be successfully hired and retained as a valuable employee worthy of advancement. This process includes a computerized software curriculum and activities to prepare for job readiness, support, and pre-employment services, job placement and post-employment services. Due to the economic circumstances of these men, their stay at the Mission continues free of charge as long as they are actively working towards obtaining these skills and earning the ‘meaningful work’ defined as a livable wage with financial benefits and personal fulfillment in their work environment.
This approach includes scheduled time and regular weekly fellowship events with successful Mission alumni and support agencies prior to graduation. Clients should then feel at ease with making personal choices after they graduate, choices that prior to entering the DoorWay Recovery Program may have been stress triggers for their addiction.