Outreach Specialists Turning Lives Around

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Mark from Eau Claire never thought he would find himself in the position that he was in. He never considered that one day he’d be asking for help with getting money for food. However, Mark found himself in rough patch in his life. Like many others, he became addicted to prescription drugs which led to his use of other drugs. His addiction led to the loss of his job and his family.

Mark knew he had to make a change. He was without family, friends, and money. His only source of food was from a monthly food pantry, which was a significant distance from his home and he didn’t have enough money to put gas in his car to get to the food pantry. He went hungry most nights.

After reading about the FoodShare Helpline, he called and set up an appointment with a FoodShare Outreach Specialist in Eau Claire. He mentioned how warm and pleasant the helpline staff was to him. He learned from our helpline and from the Outreach Specialist that help was available to pay for groceries through FoodShare. He also learned about other program that could help with his addictions – the first sign of hope he had in a long time.

For the first time in a long time, Mark was treated like a person. Feeling empowered, Mark applied for FoodShare, BadgerCare, and signed up for the FSET program. What may seem like a simple phone call and a casual meeting with a FoodShare Outreach Specialist often means more to people than we might realize. Being treated with compassion, respect, and humanity can help change one’s outlook on life.

Mark is now sober (and has been for several months) and is taking other actions to move his life in a positive direction. With FoodShare and BadgerCare, Mark has access to food and healthcare for the first time in a long time, and the FSET program is allowing him to find value in himself through work. Mark is a living example of the positive changes that can happen with a little help from strangers.

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