When Justin first looked to Freestore Foodbank for help, he needed a new support system for him and his son. After incarceration due to a battle with drug dependence, he needed a new career path.

Justin came to Cincinnati because he saw potential advantages to better himself in a city, compared to the rural community where he lived, and he wanted to make a change.

He heard about the services of Freestore Foodbank and came to the Customer Connection Center to receive clothing, replace his birth certificate, and get some basic supplies to start fresh. This was when he learned about LIFT the TriState.

Justin was quickly enrolled in the 10-week program, which provides training for unemployed or underemployed adults, offering them new opportunities to find stable, successful careers.

As a graduate of the program, Justin now has his Certified Logistics Associate and Logistics Technician certificates, as well as four different forklift and reach truck certifications, in addition to a certificate of completion from the program.

Not only did LIFT give Justin a new set of skills for several types of jobs, but it also gave him purpose and a sense of pride he’d been longing for. “Freestore Foodbank took me from having nothing to having everything,” Justin says.

He says the 10-week program was hard, but the support of his class and the thought of his son got him through it. Justin is still close with his son, and he’s proud that he can tell him he’s graduated and already interviewing for jobs.

Justin also says the program staff not only helped him get on his feet but also improved his self-esteem and confidence now that he’s returning to the world of employment. This is an especially great feeling to have heading into the holiday season!

Thank you for supporting important programs like this that are helping individuals find the second chance they are looking for. And right now, your support goes twice as far, thanks to a matching gift!