Our Stories

ReWork Richmond’s mission calls for us to work closely with each of our Members as they seek long-term, living wage employment. Here is the story of one of our Members. To respect the privacy of this Member and her family we have changed her image and name.

Meet Tracey

Tracey is a single mother of three with a natural talent for cooking. When she enrolled in ReWork, she was living with her two children and an ill mother. To make ends meet, she worked as a hairdresser at a local salon, and catered meals from her apartment, which helped partially satisfy her longing to someday find an opportunity to apply her culinary skills on a commercial level.

Tracey was recommended to ReWork by a friend and ReWork member. The friend thought ReWork’s broad network might provide Tracey with introductions to community resources that could open new doors, and help her resolve some of the complex family care, housing and employment challenges she faced. Soon after enrolling in ReWork, Tracey was connected with a Personal Care Aide (PCA) course funded by the Office of Community Wealth Building. The PCA certification allowed her to get paid by Social Services for the care that she was already providing her mother as her mother’s only support.

Her personal care income allowed her to pay off delinquent debts with the DMV and earn her license back. She then secured a job as a driver with UP RVA, where after demonstrating her abilities, she was quickly promoted to a full-time salaried employee. The position’s flexible hours and steady income finally enabled Tracey to pursue her true dream — establishing and growing her home cooking business.

Today, Tracey is busy catering a variety of culinary events for numerous community organizations. ReWork has supported her by helping provide reliable daily transportation though its innovative “Car-Cares” program. And, ReWork has helped her earn her Servsafe certification, an important professional qualification that further reinforces the appeal of her catering business.

ReWork has also connected Tracey to Urban Hope, where she is on a path to move out of public housing and into an affordable rental home for her family. Her long term plans? Thanks to ReWork’s continuous guidance and her hard work, Tracey hopes to continue building her savings through her full-time employment at UP RVA, and someday own her own restaurant.


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