A Saratoga Springs Social Services Success Story
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Roy Roberts is just like you and me.
A trained apprentice carpenter with over 15 years experience, he is skilled in framing, cabinetry and similar disciplines. But unlike you and me, perhaps, the ravages of the recent economy took its toll on Roy and several others. The firm he had done several jobs for ran out of work.
They tried to keep him on as a painter, even though Roy admitted, “I’m no painter,” with a laugh. Eventually, even that went away, and the father of four had to put his children and his fiancé in crowded, unsuitable housing in Queensbury, while Roy received refuge at the Shelters of Saratoga (SOS).
Roy took no time to grieve or bemoan his fate. He went to work to get back to work.
He did so with a purpose and an end goal in mind: “Getting my family back together. That’s my motivation.” Roy said.
It was that determination and drive that pushed him out the door each morning, that put the spring in his step when others might be discouraged. One day, he walked up to a large, local construction company’s jobsite and introduced himself. It turns out that they needed a person with his skillset. Roy was hired on.
With some occupations, this would be the end of the story. A happy ending. But this was only the end of chapter one.
Roy, you see, was provisionally hired. In an occupation like his, a carpenter in construction has to bring his own equipment to the party. Tools. Uniforms. Hardhats. These were things that he had, but had lost in the course of trying to keep the family together. State required licenses needed to be renewed as well – and everything costs money.
“The case management staff at SOS has very resourceful people.” Roy noted. Case Manager Shirl Lloyd referred Roy to the Franklin Community Center just over a week ago on March 12, where Associate Director Jaime Williams and the staff there also reacted resourcefully.
“We have a great network of caring, giving people,” Jamie Williams noted. “We put out a donation appeal on our Facebook page, and got a lot of responses - the best one was from The Giving Circle who agreed to pick the man up and take him shopping for the items needed, including having him fitted for the right outdoor clothing.”
This included a hard hat, safety goggles, outdoor uniform clothing, boots and some tools. “It was about $700 worth of merchandise all told.” Roy said. “It would have taken me forever to get that together.”
The licensing, an OSHA-required safety course was an obstacle, but not for long. “We just heard from Peter at Leading Edge Health and Safety Consulting and they have graciously agreed to provide the $210, 10-hour OSHA Training at no cost.” Jaime said.
All that remains for Roy to get back to work is a company-required physical (which, if his enthusiastic handshake is any portent, he will have no trouble passing), but he still needs about $300 worth of specialty tools – Dewalt drill and bit sets and reciprocating saw – to be fully outfitted for the job.
“Allerdice Hardware, at their Walworth Street location, has agreed to sell us these tools at their cost,” Jaime Williams noted. “They also agreed to put out a donation bucket there. We also will have one here at Franklin Community Center.”
So Roy is almost back to work. Perhaps, with this goal so close in sight, you who are reading this might want to help. If so, please note the contact information at the end of this story.
For Roy Roberts though, getting back to work will put some struggles in the rear-view mirror, but it will be months of hard work until the primary job is done.
“I’m a family man,” he said. “This is my main motivation. They are suffering now, and I won’t rest until we are all back together.”
“Having a place for all of us is everything.”