Y-City News

Zanesville ministry goes the extra mile for area homeless

The+first+three+participants+in+Trulight+Ministries%27+new+work+partnership+with+Inergoup+pictured+on+their+first+day+at+NFI+Industries.
The first three participants in Trulight Ministries' new work partnership with Inergoup pictured on their first day at NFI Industries.

The first three participants in Trulight Ministries' new work partnership with Inergoup pictured on their first day at NFI Industries.

Photo submitted by Edward Swarz of Trulight Ministries

Photo submitted by Edward Swarz of Trulight Ministries

The first three participants in Trulight Ministries' new work partnership with Inergoup pictured on their first day at NFI Industries.

By Christine Holmes, News Director

A ministry on Putnam Avenue is going the extra mile (or 16, to be exact) in Zanesville’s effort to end homelessness.

Trulight Ministries launched a new work program this week that gives the homeless and transportation dependent an opportunity to earn some money and make new connections without the pressure of finding a ride every day.

“One of the biggest issues for the homeless is, if they get a job, getting transportation back and to the job,” said Edward Swartz, Executive Director of Trulight Ministries.

After searching for local companies to form a partnership with Trulight in their effort to create jobs, Inergroup, a temp hiring agency, was willing to lend a hand.

So each morning at 5, a van is waiting to take the six current participants, and anyone else hoping to join, to their new jobs at NFI Industries in New Concord. Then, at quitting time, the van is waiting in the parking lot ready to take them back to Zanesville.

Trulight even packs lunches for the workers each day to ensure they have a meal on the job.

“We help them get the job. Once they get hired, it’s up to them to prove that they’re hard-working and deserving of the job and keep the job,” said Swartz.

According to Stephanie Jolly of Inergroup, the Trulight group is proving to be reliable in their first week on the job.

Inergoup’s office in New Concord

“They’ve all been here since they started. They’ve all came every day. They haven’t been late. They haven’t had to leave early, which is our biggest struggle out here,” said Jolly. “We get people who will start and won’t even finish their first day of work and they’ll leave.”

Jolly attributes much of those issues to lack of transportation, especially since NFI’s location in New Concord is not within walking distance for employees from Cambridge and Zanesville.

“A lot of times when we have problems with attendance, it’s because people don’t have rides or their ride has broken down,” said Jolly.

However, with Trulight providing the transportation for their group of workers, the stress of getting to work is relieved for both the employees and the employer.

“I feel like I can rely on those people more because I know someone is responsible for bringing them to work and for picking them up,” said Jolly.

Jolly and Swartz both hope to expand the partnership and provide jobs for those in need at other companies, too.

“I know that they’re people that need a job, that need help,” said Jolly. “So it makes me feel good that we’re able to offer that help to people in the community.”

With many positions open at NFI, more in need can still join the program by showing up at the Trulight Ministries parking lot any morning at 5 a.m. with two forms of identification in hand. One is required to be a photo ID, either in the form of a driver’s license or state ID, and the other should be a birth certificate or social security card.

1 Comment

One Response to “Zanesville ministry goes the extra mile for area homeless”

  1. Marilyn on September 13th, 2018 8:38 pm

    I think this is wonderful! So many people think some are just lazy,but it’s not always the case.Everyone needs help sometimes. Where can you donate to this?

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