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Henderson mother finds help, optimism through HopeLink

Diane Parkinson was unemployed two years ago and afraid she might become homeless through the winter. The New York City native and mother of two called HopeLink, which put her life back on track, she said.

HopeLink is a nonprofit in Henderson that works to get residents back on their feet through housing assistance and food pantries. Caseworkers put Parkinson, 43, and her 13-year-old daughter into emergency housing in Henderson and referred her to CareerLink, a subsection of HopeLink that helps with resumes and works with local employers to get clients interviews.

“These ladies are very supportive,” Parkinson said. “I felt bad. I felt like a loser getting out into the work field and not having a solution, but they always give me good information and resources.”

Parkinson said CareerLink helped her clean up her resume, which includes several jobs in the medical field and time at a warehouse printing shop. Parkinson has struggled to keep a job while she navigates her teenage daughter’s struggles with mental health.

“From day one, Diane was motivated to re-enter the job field,” HopeLink wrote in a statement to the Review-Journal. “We met numerous times, and each time made steps closer to employment.”

Now, Parkinson said she would prefer to work remotely and stay at home with her teenager and her adult daughter’s new baby, but she’ll take anything, including retail, fast food or call centers. She’s hoping to save enough money to finish her bachelor’s degree in the next few years and find a permanent career.

In the meantime, Parkinson is applying for Section 8 housing and checks in daily with CareerLink employees for new opportunities and job fairs.

“It’s been great,” she said. “They always check in on me. If they didn’t hear from me, they shoot me an email. I like the fact that they’re intuitive and always making sure that their clients are OK. A lot of people don’t care.”

This story was produced in partnership with the United Way of Southern Nevada as part of the “Everyone Deserves Hope” effort to assist local families this holiday season. To contribute, visit uwsn.org/hope.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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