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MEET: Eliana

Eliana G came to Laurel, Maryland, from Peru 22 years ago, with the promise of a great job from a friend of a neighbor. Instead, she found herself essentially imprisoned by the family who brought her here, forced to work at a cleaning company from midnight to 9am and pay all her earnings in rent.

After fleeing that situation, Ms. G spent the next 20 years living by her wits – moving about the region, finding work where she could – usually as a live-in nanny. “But the families kept moving, or the kids grew up, so it was never consistent,” she says. Along the way, Ms. G was determined to make a good life for herself in her new country. She signed up for English classes and studied hard. And she pursued, successfully, the arduous process of gaining citizenship.

Nonetheless, when Ms. G found her way to the AimHire job placement program of Friendship Place in August 2016, she was still struggling to pay rent. Staff helped her update her resume and learn how to do job interviews. Her employment specialist drove her around to fill out applications, until she landed a job as a sales associate at Marshall’s. “It was a new field. I had no experience in it, but I learned.” AimHire, she says, gave her optimism and completely changed her outlook. With her newfound confidence, she’s about to start bartending school.

Ms. G is effusive about the help she’s received. “Oh my, I’m so happy about how AimHire is helping me! Never can I say ‘thank you’ enough.”

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Your support for Friendship Place has a lasting impact. In 2023, our programs ended or prevented homelessness for 4,993 people, including 1,507 children in families and 670 veterans. We empowered 167 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to get jobs through innovative, state-of-the-art job placement services. Make a donation today in support of our work to end homelessness. Questions? Please feel free to call our fundraising office, 202.957.7834.

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