Seeds of Hope

Neighborhood Center

Career Center for Biddeford ME

Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center opens a Career Resource Center to replace the loss of the Maine Career Center in Saco, ME.

CITY OF BIDDEFORD, MAINE
COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
P.O. Box 586
Biddeford, Maine 04005
Phone: (207) 284-9105
Fax: (207) 286-9388
Email: lhardacker@biddefordmaine.org

TO:   All Media
FROM:   Linda Hardacker, Community Development Coordinator
DATE:   July 10th, 2009
SUBJECT:   PRESS RELEASE

Career Help Now Available at Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center

Looking for a new Job? Good news! Biddeford residents have a new resource for job searching help at the Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center.

Conveniently located at 35 South Street, near downtown Biddeford, the Neighborhood Center is open for drop-ins from 9am to 1pm, Tuesday through Friday. Within these drop in hours, Seeds of Hope offers its Career Resource Center on Tuesdays and Fridays to provide job seekers help in: applying for jobless benefits, developing a job plan, creating a resume, using the Internet to search for jobs, and doing well on the interview. As the Center becomes more utilized, Seeds of Hope plans to extend the job help throughout the week. The program is funded by the City's HUD Community Development Block Grant Program.

Seeds of Hope's Career Resource Center started out of recognition that Biddeford area residents needed a place to go for help in their job search. Rev. Shirley Bowen, Director of Seeds of Hope said, "After the Maine Career Center in Saco closed in June 2008, the only place Biddeford residents could go for job searching and counseling assistance were the Maine Career Centers in Springdale and Portland and many of the people we see at the Neighborhood Center didn't have vehicles." Rev. Bowen added, "We heard about the closing of the Saco Center at the area human services resource meeting and asked if we could help."

From there the idea became a reality. Seeds of Hope learned about Biddeford's Community Block Grants from another recipient and decided to apply for funds to create a Career Center for the city. Richard Fifield, then manager of the Maine State Career Center in Springdale, offered his support. Richard Fifield said, "We were seeing people travelling all the way from Biddeford to Springdale to get assistance. We were acutely aware of the need and supported Seeds of Hope in its efforts." Along with several other organizations serving Biddeford residents, Seeds of Hope was awarded a grant effective July 1, and the Career Resource Center opened in August.

Steve Carpenter, the Center's coordinator said, "Taking a look at our website at www.seedsofhope4me.org shows that we're a center that focuses on the whole needs of the client. We offer support, help in identifying sources for food, shelter and training, as well as helping with building a resume, searching the Internet and interviewing techniques."

The Career Resource Center at Seeds of Hope is a extension of the mission of Christ Church in Biddeford. In June 2008, Christ Church applied to the national Episcopal Church's Jubilee Ministries office to become Maine's second Jubilee Ministry site. Jubilee Ministries offer "a ministry… for poor and oppressed people, wherever they are found, to meet basic human needs and to build a just society"

Christ Church is furthering its mission of serving those in need through collaborative outreach initiatives with other churches and community organizations, including: In-A-Pinch Non-food Essentials Pantry, St. David's Episcopal Church of Kennebunk, St. Andre Health Care, Parent Resource Center, Go Greene, Career Center Services of York County, Goodwill Workforce Solutions, Hallowed Ground Community Garden and the Biddeford Chapter of T.O.P.S. The collaborative opened a drop-in center in September 2008, naming it the Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center, and continues to grow in sponsorship and services. Although the parent organization is Christ Episcopal Church, the Seed of Hope Neighborhood Center is non-sectarian and open to all people regardless of faith.

For further information please contact: Steve Carpenter, Coordinator at Seeds of Hope Career Resource Center at 289-4579 or email at steve.carpenter.seedsofhope@gmail.com