Midtown: Community

Jobs for Life seminar teaches how best to help

When Dwight Hunter was serving a lengthy jail sentence, he dreamed of someday owning his own business but couldn’t see how he would ever be able to realize his goal.

After going through the Jobs for Life program last spring, the Raleigh resident renewed his faith in God, got a job cleaning office buildings and now owns his own business. He has become so successful that he is now in the position of being able to hire other Jobs for Life graduates as employees.

Daniel Alexander, field director of Jobs for Life in the Triangle, said that there are hundreds of Jobs for Life success stories just like Hunter’s, not just from people who have served time, but anyone who is struggling to find or keep a job.

Jobs for Life offers Bible-based job training classes along with mentoring and encourages local churches to hold their own classes. Last year, more than 3,500 people went through the classes in 140 cities. After graduation, 70 to 80 percent of the graduates enroll in additional education or find employment.

“Many churches and organizations are providing aid backwards,” Alexander said. “They often provide food and clothing first and anything to do with employment is at the bottom of the list. By solving the immediate needs, we are not helping people develop, and the more relief we provide for people, the more they become ingrained in that mentality

“We need to be coming alongside people so that they can learn to move forward, earn a living and pay their own bills.”

To help educate churches on these principles, Jobs for Life is holding a seminar with Providence Baptist featuring Dr. Brian Fikkert, author of “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself.” The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Providence Baptist Church, 6339 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. The fee for the conference is $45 for the full day or $35 for half. Registration includes lunch and materials. For more information or to register, visit www.pray.org/hwh.

More than 350 people have already registered for the conference, but they have room for 700.

“There is a culture shift and a movement in the Triangle to really help people while affirming dignity,” Alexander said. “This is one day to dedicate to being involved in the movement and reorienting ourselves to help solve some of these important issues.”

Special needs adult coffeehouse

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will hold its monthly coffeehouse for special needs adults from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at the church, 7000 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh. Entertainment will be provided by the church band Coffee Grinds. Transportation is available to the free event. The church is looking for more volunteers to help with tasks such as preparing food, serving refreshments, welcoming guests, providing extra assistance to guests, transportation and cleanup. For more information, call 919-848-1573 or cindybdavis@gmail.com.

Church Women United Meeting

Church Women United will hold its annual meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Milner Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1950 New Bern Ave., Raleigh. A social time with refreshments will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a program following at 10 a.m. Twenty-four Raleigh area churches are members of Church Women United, an ecumenical movement that brings together women of diverse denominations, races and worship traditions in close Christian fellowship, prayer, advocacy and action for peace with justice in the world. For more information, visit www.cwunc.org.

Financial Peace University

Several churches are offering Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University beginning in February. The nine-week course meets once a week and uses discussions and DVD lessons to teach participants how to budget, get out of debt, save for emergencies and invest. The classes also address how money affects relationships.

Edenton Street United Methodist: 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, and 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, 228 West Edenton St., Raleigh. For more information or to register, contact Leigh Holloway at 919-832-7535.

Pleasant Grove United Methodist: 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, 4415 Pleasant Grove Church Road, Raleigh. For more information or to register, contact Brandi Walker at 919-787-7763.

Fellowship Raleigh Church: 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, 1653 Tillery Place, Raleigh. For more information or to register, contact Jordan Ray at 919-210-2013.

Do you have some faith news to share? Send it to correspondent Jennifer Gregory at nrnews@newsobserver.com. For events, please give us two to three weeks’ notice.