St. Stephen's Community House participants

Heather McLean

Heather McLeanHeather McLean

Working to a better future

To say Heather McLean had financial difficulties is an understatement.

Her husband was underemployed and Heather struggled with keeping a job for nine years because of panic attacks. “Financially, emotionally, spiritually, we were at the end of our rope.”

The turnaround started after connecting with a new therapist, who helped her with her attacks. But finding a job was difficult. “I was out of work for so long, I was worried I didn’t have relevant skills in the workplace.”

Heather was eased into the process with the help of staff who helped her update her resume, prepared her for interviews and introduced her to programs like Dressed for Success, which donates professional work attire to women for job interviews and work.

The program that helped Heather the most was the Youth Employment Fund, which helps people under 30 who are unemployed and out of school. She quickly found work as a clinic assistant for the Village Family Health Team. Heather has since earned a promotion and raise. Today, she is going back to school part-time to further her career and her husband has improved his career as well.

“St. Stephen's really opened up so many opportunities for me and encouraged me to challenge myself where I otherwise would not.”

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