Rescue Mission/Blue Jacket partnership expanding

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Some men once held down by addictions, unemployment, and prison time now have the skills they need to take the next step in their lives. They graduated from the Blue Jacket Career Academy. There, Blue Jacket and Rescue Mission told NewsChannel 15 their partnership is about to expand.

Three of the men in this graduating class at one time found themselves homeless looking to the Rescue Mission for help. The Rescue Mission then brought them to Blue Jacket.

Douglas Holland is one of the graduates sent to Blue Jacket from the Mission. He hasn’t had an easy life.

“I’ve struggled with an alcohol problem,” Holland said.

He found help with the Mission, and has been sober for more than a year.

Friday he took the next step in recovery by graduating from the Career Academy- a two week program preparing participants for the workforce.

“[I learned] how to apply for a job, how to dress appropriately for a job, how to present your resume,” Hollad said.

“They offer you anything you could possibly need to go out and get that job,” fellow graduate John Craig said.

Craig also came to Blue Jacket from Rescue Mission.

“Three years ago I was laid off from a job,” Craig said.

The partnership between The Rescue Mission and Blue Jacket is long-lasting and about to expand. NewsChannel 15 has previously reported the Mission’s plans to move into a larger building. Blue Jacket may not be far behind.

“So what we are encouraging Blue Jacket to do, and I believe this is where they are headed, is have a satellite campus in our facility where they will be running their own program,” Rescue Mission CEO Donovan Coley said.

“I think it helps the men of the rescue mission, to exhibit to their family, to exhibit to their community that they are serious about wanting to earn their second chance and they’re serious about employment,” Blue Jacket Executive Director Tony Hudson said.

Coley said a more comprehensive announcement will come later in the year.

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