Joanne Fleming - May 2015
Joanne Fleming walks into a medical office dressed in a red blazer, black dress pants and matching jewelry. Her head is held high as she confidently approaches the desk and says, “I’m here for an interview.”
Joanne’s confidence was elevated after she visited Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS)’ Clothing program and left with a new-to-her career smart outfit, completely free of charge. At age 46, she is working as hard as she can to find a job as a psychiatric technician in the mental health field, a field she worked in for many years before. “When I dress professionally, I feel better and I can walk into an interview and really sell myself,” Fleming said. “If I look the part, it takes away some of that insecurity.”
Joanne is just one of the many unemployed women and men who turn to SFBFS each month for help to regain a place in the workforce. In December, SFBFS began operating Job Smart Clothing, a special service in the Clothing program. The service provides unemployed men and women with gently-used clothing to help them feel confident when they go to job interviews and for their first few days at a new job. Staffed by volunteers and Clothing Program Manager, Tasha Bryant, the service currently is occupying a few rooms at our Oak Park campus. In each room, job-seekers find racks of donated clothing featuring skirts, suits, dresses and slacks, much like they would at a store in a shopping mall. What makes the service really unique is that to go shopping in the area, the jobseeker is scheduled a one-on-one personal shopping appointment to make sure they find the best outfit for their needs and career plans.
“There’s an old saying, ‘When you look good, you feel good,’ and that’s our motto,” says Tasha. “If people feel confident in what they’re wearing, they will interview better and make a great first impression with prospective employers.”
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