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Coalition for the Homeless of the Southern Tier Holds First Job Fair

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Binghamton's unemployment rate was six percent in November -- but the Coalition for the Homeless of the Southern Tier wants to reduce that number even more.

Tuesday, the organization held it's first job fair inside the Broome County library.

Eric Pease lives lives at the Rescue Mission. He's been out of work for two years.

"I have been hooked up with quite a few people who will help me. They have references who will accept me into places to speak to people about getting work," said Pease.

The Coalition for the Homeless of the Southern Tier said it's goal was to have almost 100 job seekers connect with the roughly 10 employers and 10 service providers who made up the fair.

For many unemployed individuals barriers vary from substance abuse, probation, mental health and homelessness.

"The folks that we work with really want jobs so we decided to put together employers who would be willing to hire folks with these challenging backgrounds with the folks who need the jobs," said Shari Weiss, chair of Homeless Coalition.

Jobseekers like Pease describe the journey as a struggle. Pease says his lack of knowledge and inaccessibility to computers serves as his barrier.

"Everything seems to be online these days. You can't just go walk up to somebody and say 'hey here's me can I have a job?' That used to work for me when I was younger. now everything is online," Pease said.

Pease says now he's willing to take any job that comes his way.
"I mean I am willing to go entry level into about anything I'm always up for a new experience," said Pease.

For information on homeless resources head over to gobroomecounty.com and click on the homeless resources link.