Our clients are using the skills they learn at Our House to start their own businesses! Hezekiah was recommended to come to Our House last year after falling on hard times. After coming to the Shelter one evening, Hezekiah felt uncertain of what a shelter would hold and didn’t stay for the night. However, the next day he just knew that Our House was where he needed to be and came back to check into a bed. Hezekiah immediately jumped into life in our Career Center to get connected to work, including working as the grounds keeper in Our House’s job training program. After working several jobs in the lawn care field, which he’s always had an interest in, Hezekiah decided it was time to stop working for others and start working for himself! The team in the Career Center connected Hezekiah to entrepreneurial classes with the Rock It! Lab—a partnership of the Central Arkansas Library System and Advancing Black Entrepreneurship which serves under-resourced entrepreneurs.
Hezekiah participated in the program from November until June of 2022. “I’ve let people down a lot before in my life,” Hezekiah says, but there was no way he was going to let down the Our House team. “There was no way I was going to quit the program. I had to start believing in myself, so I kept going and going.” Not only did Hezekiah complete the program this summer, but he was also the winner of a competition, “Demo Day,” in which he presented on his potential business plan! For his innovation and hard work, Hezekiah was awarded over $5,000 in capital to get his business running, including a zero turn mower, utility trailer, and trimmer, as well as $1,000 in rental assistance!
Since graduating, Hezekiah has moved into an income-based apartment, acquired an LLC for his own business, and obtained a contract for over 300 houses! The time Hezekiah has spent working with Our House completely shifted his mindset. “When you put your all into something and are sincere, people will go out of their way to help you, and I found that out first hand at Our House,” Hezekiah says. Not only did Hezekiah excel moving his career forward while here, he also took full advantage of of our mental health services by meeting with one of our social work interns weekly. Hezekiah continues to check in with our mental health team to maintain his progress, and he knows now that doors will not stop opening for him!